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Nuclear News - 9/28/2010
PGS Nuclear News, September 28, 2010
Compiled By: Matthew Kapuscinski

A.  Iran
    1. Iran Slams Dual Policy Over Nuclear Case, PressTV (9/27/2010)
    2. Tehran Condemns Moscow Over S-300 Delivery Ban, RIA Novosti (9/27/2010)
    3. US Should Stop Interfering in Iran, PressTV (9/27/2010)
    4. Iran Denies Nuclear Plant Computers Hit by Worm, Laurent Maillard, AFP (9/27/2010)
    5. IRGC Must Prepare for All Assaults, PressTV (9/26/2010)
    6. Iran Could Halt Higher Enrichment: Ahmadinejad, AFP (9/25/2010)
    1. IAEA Supports Six-Party Talks On Korean Peninsula Nuclear Issue, Bernama (9/24/2010)
    2. North Korea Promotes Diplomats from Negotiating Team with U.S., Yonhap News Agency (9/23/2010)
C.  Nuclear Cooperation
    1. Japan Seeks Rejuvenated U.N. Talks to Realize Nuke-Free World, The Mainichi Daily News (9/28/2010)
    2. Pakistan Takes Helm of UN Atomic Watchdog for First Time Since Bomb Tests, Jonathan Tirone, Bloomberg (9/27/2010)
    3. India, Argentina Ink Agreement on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, The Hindu (9/24/2010)
D.  Nuclear Energy
    1. UK: New Nuclear Plants Needed to Reach Green Goals, Associated Press (9/27/2010)
    2. Power Companies to be Minority Stake Holders in Nuclear Projects, Business Standard (9/26/2010)
E.  Nuclear Industry
    1. India to Become Global Player in the Nuclear Industry, Calcutta Tube (9/26/2010)
    2. China Should be Stopped From Building Nuclear Reactors for Pakistan, MSN India (9/25/2010)
F.  Links of Interest
    1. UAE Sets Nuclear Standard, Emirates News Agency (9/26/2010)
    2. Britain Promises US it Will Keep Nuclear Deterrent, AFP (9/24/2010)
    3. What is at Stake in Israel Row at UN Atom Body?, Reuters (9/24/2010)

A.  Iran

Iran Denies Nuclear Plant Computers Hit by Worm
Laurent Maillard
(for personal use only)

The malicious Stuxnet computer worm has hit 30,000 industrial computers in Iran, officials said on Sunday, but denied the Islamic republic's first nuclear plant at Bushehr was among those infected.

So far, Stuxnet has infected about 30,000 IP addresses in Iran, Mahmoud Liayi, head of the information technology council at the ministry of industries, was quoted as saying by the government-run newspaper Iran Daily.

Stuxnet, which was publicly identified in June, was tailored for Siemens supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, systems commonly used to manage water supplies, oil rigs, power plants and other industrial facilities.

The worm is able to recognise a specific facility's control network and then destroy it, according to German computer security researcher Ralph Langner, who has been analysing the malicious software.

Langner said he suspected Stuxnet was targetting Bushehr nuclear power plant, where unspecified problems have been blamed for delays in getting the facility fully operational.

Siemens said its software has not been installed at the plant, and an Iranian official denied the malware may have infected nuclear facilities.

"This virus has not caused any damage to the main systems of the Bushehr power plant," Bushehr project manager Mahmoud Jafari said on Iran's Arabic-language Al-Alam television network.

"All computer programmes in the plant are working normally and have not crashed due to Stuxnet," said Jafari, adding there was no problem with the plant's fuel supply.

The official IRNA news agency meanwhile quoted him as saying the worm had infected some "personal computers of the plant's personnel."

And he told Fars news agency that so far, five versions of the malware had been detected in Iran.

Echoing Jafari's denial, the deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation in charge of safety and security, Asghar Zarean, said neither the plant nor the organisation's computers were affected.

"Due to the precautions we have already employed for our systems, in our investigations we have not come across any penetration by the virus into our systems," Zarean was quoted as saying by IRNA.

The self-replicating worm has been found lurking on Siemens systems mostly in India, Indonesia and Pakistan, but the heaviest infiltration appears to be in Iran, according to researchers.

Telecommunications minister Reza Taqipour said "the worm has not been able to penetrate or cause serious damage to government systems."

According to Iran Daily, telecoms official Saeed Mahdiyoun said "teams of experts had begun to systematically eliminate the virus."

Meanwhile Liayi said given its complexity, Stuxnet was "likely a (foreign) government project," without giving details.

The newspaper cited various experts who suggested the United States and Israel were behind the malware, evoking the "West's electronic warfare against Iran."

Liayi said industries were currently receiving systems to combat Stuxnet, while stressing Iran had decided not to use anti-virus software developed by Siemens because "they could be carrying a new version of the malware."

"When Stuxnet is activated, the industrial automation systems start transmitting data about production lines to a main designated destination by the virus," Liayi said.

"There, the data is processed by the worm's architects and then engineer plots to attack the country."

Iran's nuclear ambitions are at the heart of a conflict between Tehran and the West, which suspects the Islamic republic is seeking to develop atomic weapons under the cover of a civilian drive.

Tehran denies the allegation and has pressed on with its enrichment programme -- the most controversial aspect of its nuclear activities -- despite four sets of UN Security Council sanctions.

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Iran Slams Dual Policy Over Nuclear Case
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Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has lashed out at Western double-standard policy over Iran's nuclear issue, urging a reassessment of the case.

"It is necessary that the (nuclear) case would be reviewed in a real way. We should move toward a comprehensive solution based on law and justice," Mottaki said in a meeting with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle in New York on Sunday.

The Iranian official slammed the dual policy of imposing sanctions and issuing resolutions while inviting Iran to negotiations adding that constructive talks and interaction with the Islamic Republic are the only options available for P5+1 -- Russia, China, Britain, France, the US and Germany.

Although the UN Security Council (UNSC) imposed sanctions Resolution 1929, Iran is still ready to implement the fuel swap declaration issued jointly by Iran, Turkey and Brazil, Mottaki went on to say.

Iran, Brazil and Turkey issued a joint fuel swap declaration on May 17, based on which Tehran agreed to exchange 1,200 kg of its low-enriched uranium on Turkish soil with fuel for its Tehran research reactor.

Mottaki further pointed out that Iran has started enriching uranium to the level of 20 percent to supply fuel needed for the Tehran research reactor, adding the Islamic Republic has expressed its readiness to hold talks with P5+1.

The German minister, for his part, said there is an appropriate political and international atmosphere for resuming talks over Iran's nuclear program.

The top German diplomat reiterated that all members of the P5+1 insist on Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy and added the nuclear dispute can be resolved only through constructive talks.

Following the US-engineered UNSC sanctions in June, the US and European Union imposed unilateral sanctions against the country's energy and financial sectors.

Tehran has vehemently rejected the West's accusations that it is developing nuclear weapons, insisting that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has the right to pursue and utilize the many civilian applications of nuclear technology.

The Islamic Republic announced its readiness to resume talks on its nuclear program in September, but reiterated that any negotiation must be conducted within the framework of the May 17 Tehran declaration.

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Tehran Condemns Moscow Over S-300 Delivery Ban
RIA Novosti
(for personal use only)

Russia's ban of S-300 air defense systems to Iran shows it "cannot be trusted," Iran's top military commander said on Monday according to the Fars news agency.

On September 22, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree banning the delivery of S-300 air defense systems and a host of other arms to Iran as a part of measures Russia is taking to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1929 of June 9, 2010.

"This [delivery ban] has no negative effect on us...but they [Russia] have broken a contract...showing that they cannot be trusted, which we already know," Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said.

He said the ban was evidence that Russia "cannot act independently, even when dealing with such a simple issue."

Last week Vahidi said the delivery ban was illogical since the UN Security Council Resolution imposing a fourth round of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program did not impose restrictions on air-defense systems.

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US Should Stop Interfering in Iran
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A leading US lawyer has denounced as "illegal" sanctions imposed by his country on Iran, urging the US government to stop interfering in Tehran's internal affairs.

"Iran's peaceful nuclear activities are legal. Inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are constantly in Iran and Tehran is cooperating with them," IRNA quoted Sanford Kelson, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (PA) Lawyer as saying on Monday.

He added that no case of violation of laws has been observed in Iran's nuclear activities yet and said no individual or body has succeeded in providing documents proving that the Islamic Republic has a secret nuclear program.

Kelson said the imposition of sanctions is not "correct diplomacy" even if it is assumed that Iran may develop a secret nuclear plan and added, "The US government should hold talks with (President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad's government."

According to Kelson, the United States which claims that it seeks international peace is the main exporter of weapons in the world.

"If we intend to show our goodwill, we should first reduce our weapons to the least level. We should possess weapons to the level that is needed to defend ourselves," he said and added all countries can then reduce their weapons to that level.

The lawyer went on to say that the US government believes that the United States without too much weapons cannot create an empire.

"The US government claims that Iran supports terrorists but the US, itself, is giving shelter to terrorists," the lawyer said.

He further added that the US has given shelter to a person who exploded a plane while Washington has announced that a country which gives shelter to terrorists is a terrorist.

Following the imposition of the US-engineered UN Security Council sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear program in June, the US and EU imposed unilateral sanctions targeting the country's energy and financial sectors.

Tehran has vehemently rejected the West's accusations that it is developing nuclear weapons, insisting that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has the right to pursue and utilize the many civilian applications of nuclear technology.

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IRGC Must Prepare for All Assaults
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A deputy commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says despite the unlikelihood of a military strike, Iran must continue enhancing its defense systems.

"The defensive capabilities of our Armed Forces are such that discourage the enemy from launching an attack on our country," Brigadier General Abdullah Araqi said Sunday.

Noting the large number of global conflicts in the past century, as well as ongoing conflicts in the region, Araqi said Iran must remain vigilant and prepare against all possible threats.

"In the 20th century, some 140 wars broke out, claiming the lives of some 20 million people and in the past three decades we have also seen significant conflicts breaking out in the Persian Gulf region, Afghanistan and Iraq," an IRGC statement quoted Araqi as saying.

"Although we have, thanks to the eight-year Sacred Defense (Iraqi-imposed war), reached a level of defensive capability, we must enhance it," the Iranian General stressed.

Amid a standoff over Iran's nuclear program, the US and Israel have repeatedly stressed that the option of a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities was still on the table.

Iranian official reject Western charges that Tehran is following a military nuclear program and have dismissed the threats, urging the resumption of nuclear talks based on the May 17 Tehran nuclear fuel swap declaration.

Tehran says such a move would be illegal, since as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it is entitled to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The Sacred Defense Week honors the memory and the braveries of Iranian soldiers who fought in the 1980-1988 Iraqi-imposed war.

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Iran Could Halt Higher Enrichment: Ahmadinejad
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President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Iran would consider halting its 20 percent uranium enrichment if the West provides the fuel for a medical reactor in Tehran, ISNA news agency reported on Saturday.

"Whenever they give us the fuel and we are in possession of it, we can examine a halt" in enriching uranium to 20 percent, Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying at a press conference in New York on Friday.

In February, Ahmadinejad ordered Iranian atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi to step up uranium refinement to 20 percent after a deal drafted by the UN atomic watchdog to supply the material to Tehran hit deadlock.

"Initially, we were not interested in building a new plant for the 20 percent fuel. Based on the law, members of the (International Atomic Energy) Agency were supposed to provide us with the fuel," Ahmadinejad said.

"We informed the agency of our demand that member states should give us the fuel, but they turned this issue into a political game," he said.

Iran had previously enriched uranium to just 3.5 percent purity but it says the 20 percent enrichment is required to fuel the reactor in the capital.

Since February, Iranian officials have said on several occasions that they could stop 20 percent enrichment if negotiations with the West to exchange their lower level uranium for the fuel are successful.

World powers, led by Washington, strongly oppose Iran's uranium enrichment programme which they suspect masks a nuclear weapons drive, something Tehran vehemently denies.

Experts say that by enriching uranium to the 20 percent level, Iran has theoretically come closer to the 90 percent purity needed for an atomic bomb.

In June the UN Security Council approved a fourth round of sanctions against the Islamic republic in a bid to halt its enrichment programme.

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IAEA Supports Six-Party Talks On Korean Peninsula Nuclear Issue
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The annual General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Friday adopted a resolution supporting the six-party talks as an effective mechanism for dealing with the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

The resolution calls upon all the parties concerned to make joint efforts for the resumption of the talks at an appropriate time in the future.

The resolution also notes that a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons would contribute positively to regional and global peace and security.

The six-party talks, launched in 2003, involves China, North Korea, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States.

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North Korea Promotes Diplomats from Negotiating Team with U.S.
Yonhap News Agency
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North Korea announced Thursday it promoted three diplomats who were key negotiators with the United States, a move analysts here said may be intended to improve Pyongyang's ties with Washington to help stabilize the communist regime ahead of the anticipated power succession.

The country's first vice foreign minister, Kang Sok-ju, was promoted as vice premier of the cabinet, according to the North's Korean Central News Agency that cited a parliamentary decree.

Kim Kye-gwan, a vice foreign minister and the North's chief nuclear negotiator, succeeded Kang, the report said.

Ri Yong-ho, Kim's deputy on the nuclear negotiating team, was promoted as vice foreign minister, it said in brief dispatches. The reports did not say whether Ri will succeed Kim as the top nuclear envoy.

The promotions were announced as North Korea prepares for a conference of Rodong (Workers') Party delegates next week, the first in 44 years, believed to be linked to the ongoing power transfer from top leader Kim Jong-il to his youngest son, Jong-un.

The conference, previously set for early September, was rescheduled for Tuesday. Pyongyang's media did not explain the reasons for the delay, although it reported heavy damage from floods.

As the former chief nuclear envoy for the communist state, Kang negotiated the 1994 Geneva Agreed Framework between Pyongyang and Washington, which called for freezing of North Korea's nuclear facilities in exchange for internationally financed light-water reactors.

Kang had been the first vice foreign minister for 24 years after being appointed to the post at the age of 47.

Kim Kye-gwan, one of the vice foreign ministers, was the chief North Korean representative to the six-nation nuclear talks when the participants agreed to joint statements on Sept. 19, 2005, and again in February and October 2007. Under these agreements, North Korea pledged to abandon its nuclear weapons and dismantle its nuclear facilities in return for financial aid from the dialogue partners -- South Korea, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan -- plus diplomatic recognition.

Ri has been a core member of North Korean delegations in negotiations with the U.S. on issues such as nuclear weapons, disarmament, human rights and missiles. Starting in 2003, Ri served as North Korea's ambassador to Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg and then Ireland before returning to the foreign ministry in 2007 and becoming the deputy nuclear negotiator.

Ri had frequently accompanied North Korean foreign ministers on their overseas trips, mostly recently in July when he traveled with Pak Ui-chun on a tour of Southeast Asia.

The promotions may be signs that North Korea is willing to improve its ties with the U.S. and an attempt to keep its domestic politics stable, analysts here say.

Kim Jong-il is believed to be grooming his third and youngest son, Jong-un, as heir as his health deteriorates, apparently after a stroke in 2008. North Korea watchers say the son may make his public debut at next week's party conference.

"It's important for North Korea to eliminate any negative influence on its domestic politics ahead of a power transfer, and as the Pyongyang-Washington ties worsened over time, they affected the stability of the leadership," said Paik Hak-soon, a senior researcher at the Sejong Institute think tank.

Paik said the deadly sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in March and the joint South Korea-U.S. naval drills off Korea's coasts have contributed to the deepening of the confrontation between Pyongyang and Washington.

A Seoul-led multinational probe, which included U.S. experts, concluded that North Korea torpedoed the Cheonan and killed 46 sailors. North Korea denies any responsibility and has accused South Korea of fabricating the investigation results.

Paik also said Kang will return to the diplomatic limelight after taking a backseat following the 1994 Geneva agreement. He added Kang will now be able to meet U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "on an equal level," whereas he had previously been a notch below top U.S. diplomats as the first vice foreign minister.

Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, agreed that Kang will assume a more active role in North Korean foreign affairs.

"Kang had been an influential figure in nuclear negotiations and the North's dealings with the U.S. behind the scenes," Yang said. "His promotion signals that Kang will be at the forefront of North Korean foreign policies, including its nuclear weapons."

The professor added that by promoting the veteran diplomat, the North "has sent a message that it will strengthen its diplomacy with the U.S. and with the Western world as a whole and that it wants to end its international isolation."

The promotions also came as North Korea seeks a bilateral meeting with the United States to restart the stalled six-nation talks. Aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons programs, the six-party session began in 2003 but has been on hold since December 2008. North Korea has refused to return to the table while under international sanctions imposed on it for its long-range missile launch and second nuclear test last year.

The North has on and off expressed willingness to return to the talks. Most recently, the country's leader Kim Jong-il reiterated his commitment to resuming the six-party talks and to achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula during his unexpected visit to China in August.

The North has also been pressing for the lifting of international sanctions before it can get back to the talks, but the South and the U.S. have said they will not reward Pyongyang for simply returning to the table.

Yang cautioned against any hopes for dramatic policy shift in Pyongyang, especially in its stance on nuclear weapons.

"Strengthening foreign policy is quite different from changing foreign policy," he said. "Nothing has really changed. We have the same individuals who have only been promoted to do what the other used to do. For North Koreans, nuclear weapons are a means of the survival of their regime and leverage for negotiations. It remains to be seen whether there will be any major changes."

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C.  Nuclear Cooperation

Japan Seeks Rejuvenated U.N. Talks to Realize Nuke-Free World
The Mainichi Daily News
(for personal use only)

Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara called Friday on the U.N. Conference on Disarmament to be resuscitated to move forward negotiations to promote nuclear disarmament and eventually realize a nuclear-free world.

Maehara said in a speech to a high-level meeting on revitalizing the work of the Conference on Disarmament hosted by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon that the negotiation body, which has been almost dormant since 1996 due to the failure to reach a consensus among its members, should be immediately reactivated.

"Amidst the increasing momentum towards nuclear disarmament, the CD should not remain as a 'dormant conference.' We must immediately begin the CD's work and advance its core agenda items of nuclear disarmament," he said.

The minister said Japan hopes to see progress in negotiations at the Geneva-based body on such issues as a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty and the idea of banning the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states, or retaining nuclear weapons solely for the purpose of deterring others from using such weapons.

The proposed cut-off treaty mainly aims at banning production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, which could be used in producing nuclear arms.

"As a first concrete step towards realizing 'a world without nuclear weapons,' Japan attaches importance to reducing the role of nuclear weapons," Maehara said. He urged nuclear states to abide by the policy of not using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.

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Pakistan Takes Helm of UN Atomic Watchdog for First Time Since Bomb Tests
Jonathan Tirone
(for personal use only)

Pakistan, home to nuclear-weapons smuggler Abdul Qadeer Khan, assumed control of the United Nations atomic agency’s main decision-making body today.

The South Asian nation took over the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-member board of governors, according to a statement by the Vienna-based agency. Pakistan will chair meetings where IAEA inspectors deliver reports on Iranian and Syrian nuclear activities and oversee approval of atomic- technology aid.

“All of our civil installations are under IAEA safeguards and we are an abiding member” of the organization, Pakistan’s envoy to Vienna, Ansar Parvez, said after today’s meeting. “We can try to mediate in some of the things in which the IAEA has been engaged over the last years.”

It is the first time that Pakistan has chaired the IAEA board, which meets quarterly in the Austrian capital, since it tested six nuclear bombs in 1998. The country had twice previously led the agency, in 1963 and 1987. Pakistan has about 60 nuclear bombs, according to the Washington-based Arms Control Association, which advises U.S. lawmakers.

The UN agency has in the past sought help from Pakistani technicians to corroborate information provided by the Iranian government. In 2007, Iran gave UN inspectors copies of documents obtained in 1987 from the Pakistani scientist Khan’s nuclear- trafficking network, which sold atomic blueprints to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

Pakistan, which is not a signatory of the nuclear non- proliferation treaty, has denied international investigators access to Khan, who developed the country’s nuclear-weapons program.

U.S. View

“Certainly this is a key area where, to be honest, I don’t think we’ve made a lot of progress with the Pakistanis,” said Cameron Munter, President Barack Obama’s nominee to become the next ambassador to Pakistan, in a Sept. 23 Senate hearing. “I intend to raise the question again of our repeated requests to have our people be able to interview Mr. Khan.”

“We look forward to working with Pakistan at the board of governors,” U.S. IAEA Ambassador Glyn Davies said in an interview. The IAEA declined to comment.

Pakistan, with the world’s second-biggest Muslim country after Indonesia, is allied with U.S. forces battling Islamic extremists in tribal areas along its border with Afghanistan.

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India, Argentina Ink Agreement on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
The Hindu
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India and Argentina have signed an agreement for cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy, according to Department of Atomic Energy.

Agreement between the Government of India and the Argentine Republic for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy was signed at Vienna by Dr. S. Banerjee, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and Dr. Norma Boero, President of the Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina (CNEA) yesterday.

The agreement was signed on the on the sidelines of the 54th general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a DAE release said.

“This is an inter-governmental agreement and the scope of cooperation is wide,” Mr. Banerjee told PTI from Vienna today.

“We have lot of commonality and therefore possibilities of exchange of information on operation and maintenance of reactors,” he said.

In addition there could be scope for service assistance to Argentina with the Indian expertise on en-masse coolant replacement of nuclear power reactors, Mr. Banerjee said adding, “We are also looking forward for cooperation in Research and Development (R&D) in various peaceful uses of nuclear energy.”

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D.  Nuclear Energy

UK: New Nuclear Plants Needed to Reach Green Goals
Associated Press
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Britain intends to build a new generation of nuclear power plants to replace its decades-old reactors, partly as a strategy for meeting its goals to reduce carbon emissions, Foreign Minister William Hague said Monday.

"We will have, from the 2020s onward, an expanding nuclear power sector," Hague told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Hague's main topic was the urgency of an international accord to address climate change — which he said, along with the proliferation of nuclear weapons, is among the key crises facing the world in the 21st century.

Partly as a strategic decision to lower its carbon emissions and reliance on imported energy, "We have decided in Britain to build a new generation of nuclear power stations."

"I really see no alternative to that except excessive dependence on oil and gas, and imported liquefied natural gas," Hague said.

"So after quite a long gap in which we haven't built any nuclear power plants, we are opening the door to doing so again. They have to justify themselves economically," and will mainly be built on the sites of existing reactors, Hague said. He didn't say how many would be built.

Most of Britain's existing nuclear power stations are due to be retired over the next 15 years. Nuclear power generates about a fifth of Britain's energy needs.

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Power Companies to be Minority Stake Holders in Nuclear Projects
Business Standard
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Private-sector players in the power sector, including Tata Power, Reliance Power, GMR, GVK, Lanco and others, would have to go for a joint venture (JV) with the state-run Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) to foray into nuclear sector.

Similarly, nuclear power generating companies from abroad won’t be in a position to set up nuclear plant, but they could be involved in supply chain management in India, announced Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan here on Saturday. He was speaking at an interaction meeting.

“Private sector will have to be minority stake holders in its alliance with NPC. The nuclear sector is not opened fully for the private sector being its peculiar nature. Let them have experience with NPC, which has installed 19 reactors in the country,” said Chavan.

Chavan said private sector companies might pick up 10 per cent, 15 per cent, 26 per cent or 49 per cent equity in the JV with NPC but they could not go alone to develop nuclear capacity in the country as of now. Similarly, foreign players could be part of India’s $150-billion nuclear sector as supplier of reactors, but not as an independent developer. He informed that NPC had already entered into JVs with NTPC and Indian Oil Corporation to add nuclear capacity in the country.

Chavan refuted charges that passing the nuclear liability bill ahead of US President Barak Obama was to please the US. “This is not a reality as NPC is involved in talks with four companies – Areva SA, France, Rosenergoatomm, Russia, GE-Hitachi, US-Japanese and Westinghouse-Mitsubishi US-Japanese. A Korean company has also shown interest. NPC in due course of time can independently start talks with Japanese and Korean companies. Apart from Obama, President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are also visiting India this year,” he said.

According to Chavan, these foreign suppliers would not be selected at random but they would have to go through multi-layer clearance system, both in their respective countries as well as in India.

Chavan admitted that due to the timely floor management, the government was able to pass the nuclear liability bill in the parliament. He informed that the Centre has roped in five leading national legal firms to make rules under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Bill 2010. These rules are essential to finalise agreements to purchase nuclear supplies. He hoped that the rules would seek to address concerns voiced by foreign and domestic companies over a clause giving nuclear plant operators the right to recourse against suppliers in the event of an accident.

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E.  Nuclear Industry

India to Become Global Player in the Nuclear Industry
Calcutta Tube
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India is poised to become a global player in the nuclear industry business by offering a variety of options to countries requiring cost-competitive and proven technology like pressurized heavy water reactors (PWHR), a top official said Wednesday.

Addressing the 54th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna Wednesday, Atomic Energy Commission chairman Srikumar Banerjee said that the Indian PHWRs offer a basket of options for countries looking for cost-competitive and proven technologies in small and mid-sized reactors.

Accordingly, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is ready to offer PHWRs of 220 MWe or 540 MWe capacity for exports.

‘Indian industry is not only poised to make a bigger contribution to India’s own nuclear programme, but also is on the way to becoming a competitive supplier in the global market with regard to special steels, large-sized forgings, control instruments, software, other nuclear components and services,’ Banerjee said.

In this context, he mentioned that India is in the process of setting up a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, which would provide a forum for joint work with international partners in areas of topical interest.

Banerjee added that the government had granted in-principle approval to five energy parks at five coastal sites in India.

‘Each such park would be populated with a number of water-cooled reactors to be constructed through international co-operation,’ he said.

These would enable India expand its installed nuclear power capacity to about 60GWe by 2032, even as the global nuclear power generation is expected to touch 500 GWe by 2030.

‘International cooperation will not only provide an additionality to India’s own programme in meeting immediate requirements but also fill up the energy deficit in the coming decades through the operation of the closed fuel cycle,’ said Banerjee, who is the secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy and head of the Indian delegation at Vienna.

He pointed out that the global nuclear renaissance has been largely the result of maor investments by industry over the decades to enhance the safety aspects of nuclear energy.

Recently, the Indian parliament passed the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill that which would go a long way in boosting public confidence and creating a predictable environment in which leading vendors can participate in India’s nuclear programme, Banerjee said.

Touching upon India’s nuclear power sector, he said that this year, it had achieved over 322 reactor years of safe operations.

The total installed nuclear power capacity in the country now stands at 4,560MWe and the total number of operating reactors are 19, including two new 220MWe which were connected to the power grid last year.

Besides, en masse replacement of coolant channels and feeders were completed in the PWHRs at Kakrapar and Narora, and construction of Kaiga-4 PHWR has been completed and is ready for fuel loading, Banerjee said.

‘While we reap the benefits today of the nuclear technology developed several decades ago, there is an urgent need to give a renewed thrust to take nuclear technology to greater heights for spreading its benefits to the entire humanity.

‘In order to satisfy the growing energy needs of the world while caring for the environment, the Agency will need to further enhance its efforts towards new innovations and appropriate technology solutions,’ Banerjee urged the gathering on the second day at the five-day conference.

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China Should be Stopped From Building Nuclear Reactors for Pakistan
MSN India
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China should be stopped from going ahead with its move to transfer new atomic reactors to Pakistan which is "not a responsible nuclear power," a top American Congressman has said.

"Pakistan greatly damaged global security by allowing this rogue (nuclear scientist A Q Khan) free reign in that country. China's plan to build another two nuclear reactors in Pakistan violates Nuclear Suppliers' Group rules. It should be stopped," Congressman Ed Royce said at a Congressional hearing.

He recalled that years ago, he had raised the issue of the "ring magnets" that China was transferring to Pakistan "to develop a nuclear weapon that was obviously what was intended on the part of Pakistan."

Royce, who is co-chair of the Congressional India Caucus, said at the hearing on nuclear cooperation and non-proliferation: "Now we know that China's irresponsibility in proliferation ... gave rise to the capability of Pakistan, which subsequently trumped China's irresponsibility with its own, because that knew no limits in terms of AQ Khan's ability to proliferate."

"So the fact that A Q Khan, supposedly Pakistan's most popular man, two weeks ago went on Pakistani television and spoke about his future as the nation's president that should be more than troubling to us in terms of Pakistan and the future. The government there just is not a responsible nuclear power. That needs to be addressed," Royce said.

Participating in the Congressional hearing held by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, several other US lawmakers also expressed concerns about the latest Chinese move to build two nuclear reactors to Pakistan.

"If China proceeds with the sale of the two new reactors to Pakistan, what is the likely impact on the Nuclear Suppliers Group? Should the US attempt to persuade the NSG to disapprove the sale? Should China be expelled from the NSG? What is the cost of doing nothing?" Congressman Joe Wilson asked.

Sharon Squassoni, director and senior fellow in the Centre for Strategic and International Studies Proliferation Prevention Programme, said that the NSG can essentially not disapprove a sale. "It is a voluntary gathering of nuclear suppliers. There's nothing that the Nuclear Suppliers Group can do as a body," she said, adding China should not be thrown out of the NSG.

"They are building nuclear power reactors like crazy domestically and they will be a major exporter. So I think we need to keep them in that group. There may be other ways outside of the nuclear realm that we can influence their actions, but I think those reactors are a done deal," she said.

Thomas Graham, former Special Representative to the US President on Arms Control, said: "It's difficult to see how a proposal like China's could be stopped within the NSG given the Indian precedent. "Perhaps the NSG can be persuaded that this exception for India is India-only and won't apply to any other country, most especially Pakistan," he said

"But where does that leave China? My guess is they'd probably go ahead and sell them anyway. It's not a situation over which we have much control. The NSG is not quite the effective instrument it was, in my judgment, a few years ago, because of various developments," he said.

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