Partnership for Global Security: Leading the World to a Safer Future
Home Projects Publications Issues Official Documents About RANSAC Nuclear News 4/15/13
Location: Home / Projects & Publications / News
Sitemap Contact
Google www PGS
Nuclear News - 9/9/2010
PGS Nuclear News, September 9, 2010
Compiled By: Matthew Kapuscinski

A.  Iran
    1. IAEA Envoy: UNSC Intervention Illegal, PressTV (9/8/2010)
    2. Iran Decades Away From First Nuclear Power Plant, Karen Hart, Emirates 24/7 (9/8/2010)
    3. Iran Nuclear Report Raises New Fears, Jon Leyne, BBC News (9/7/2010)
    4. US Takes Steps Against European-Iranian Bank Accused of Ties to Iranian Nuclear Institutions, Associated Press (9/7/2010)
    5. Iran Ready for Nuclear Fuel Swap Talks Based on Tehran Declaration: Spokesman, Xinhua News Agency (9/7/2010)
    1. U.S. Team to Discuss North Korea in Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Reuters (9/8/2010)
    2. Clinton Says North Korea Must Give Up Nuke Ambitions, Associated Press (9/8/2010)
C.  Nuclear Cooperation
    1. Russia Signals 2010 Arms Pact Ratification Up to U.S., Reuters (9/7/2010)
    2. Gulf States 'Welcome' Mideast Peace Talks Relaunch, AFP (9/7/2010)
D.  Nuclear Energy
    1. U.S. Suppliers Unhappy Over Changes in Nuclear Liability Bill, The Hindu (9/8/2010)
    2. India's Tata Power Plans to Spend $15 Billion, Increase Capacity Eightfold, Hemal Savai and Rakteem Katakey, Bloomberg (9/8/2010)
    3. Germany's Merkel Defends Nuclear Plant Deal, Gary Peach and Juergen Baetz, Associated Press (9/7/2010)
    4. Egypt Reactor Failed in April Says Nuclear Chief, Salah Nasrawi, Business Week (9/7/2010)
E.  Links of Interest
    1. UN Initiates Plan to Combat Terrorist Threats in Central Asia, Xinhua News Agency (9/8/2010)
    2. South Korea Announces Package of Sanctions on Iran, Chang Jae-soon and Yoo Jee-ho, Yonhap News Agency (9/8/2010)
    3. Fresh Capital in the Uranium Fuel Race, Matthew L. Wald, The New York Times (9/7/2010)
    4. Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran, IAEA (9/6/2010)

A.  Iran

IAEA Envoy: UNSC Intervention Illegal
(for personal use only)

Iran will not implement additional protocol as long as the UN Security Council interferes in Iran's nuclear program, says Iran's ambassador to the IAEA.

On February 6, 2006, Iran's Majlis (parliament) suspended voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol and all other voluntary and non-legally binding cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) beyond what is required by its safeguards agreement.

"The IAEA is seeking implementation of additional protocol and Iran will not implement this protocol as long as the UNSC is involved in Iran's nuclear issue. We ask the IAEA Director General, Yukiya Amano, to understand this fact," Asharq al-Awsat quoted Ali Asghar Soltanieh as saying.

Soltanieh declared Iran's readiness for nuclear talks with the Vienna Group (the US, Paris, Russia and the IAEA), citing political pressure for imposing preconditions on Iran as the causes of the delay of the meeting. according to a Mehr news agency report.

"Such behaviors and actions have obliged Iran to supply its required enriched uranium," he added.

The Iranian representative at the IAEA rejected the claim that the recent UN Agency's report highlighted Iran's poor cooperation with the IAEA, saying the report calls for more cooperation. "Iran will continue its cooperation with the IAEA in accordance with the signed agreements and not beyond that," Soltanieh added.

IAEA's Director General Yukiya Amano on Monday released its latest report on Iran's nuclear work in which he once again confirmed that the agency continued to "verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear materials in Iran."

The report, however, urged Iran to "cooperate in clarifying outstanding issues" and suspend its uranium enrichment activities.

The Islamic Republic insists that it has been fully cooperating with the IAEA, reiterating that it has answered all questions regarding its nuclear work.

Available at:

Return to Menu

Iran Decades Away From First Nuclear Power Plant
Karen Hart
Emirates 24/7
(for personal use only)

Iran's continued enrichment of uranium in contravention to UN resolutions is problematic because the country will have no obvious use of its growing low-enriched uranium LEU stockpile.

IHS Global Insight in a note says the Islamic Republic's Russian-built Bushehr reactor comes with an integrated fuel supply from Russia and Iran is decades from constructing and bringing its first domestically built nuclear power plant online.

"A favourable reading of Iran's intentions is of course that it wants to build energy security and not be reliable on Russian fuel supplies, but the quickly growing LEU and low-enriched uranium (HEU) stockpile is, of course, unlikely to be seen in that light particularly by the West," senior Middle East energy analyst Samuel Ciszuk and political analyst Gala Riani said in a note, sent to Emirates 24l7.

According to a leaked report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has been able to increase its efficiency in producing more enriched uranium despite the heightened international sanctions.

Iran now has a LEU stockpile of 2,803 kg, having produced about 995 kg between 23 November 2009 and 6 August 2010. In the last three months, the growth of the LEU stockpile is equivalent to about 15 per cent, at a time when the number of active enrichment centrifuges actually having declined somewhat since the agency's May report, from 3,936 to 3,772.

While Iran, since the start of its enrichment programme's monitoring, has suffered continuous problems with its operational sustainability - leading to large fluctuations in the numbers of centrifuges in operation - the accelerated LEU production using less centrifuges indicates that Iran is honing its operational efficiency levels and is able to produce more enriched uranium with less centrifuges.

The total number of installed centrifuges by the end of August is now 8,856, showing that should all of those be brought into operation - for which Iran however most likely does not have sufficient uranium hexafluoride feedstock at this time - Iran's LEU or HEU production could spiral significantly.

Overall, the leaked document, "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran", reveals few secrets and its findings are not surprising, IHS said.

The report however shows a much harsher stance by the agency against Iran's perennial failings to co-operate fully on inspections and continues to question the possible military aspect to the nuclear programme, IHS added.

"For Iran, the report is of little consequence, as the country has repeatedly come under pressure from the UN agency to comply more comprehensively with its inspections regime, but has refused to change its behaviour accordingly," it said.

IHS said it also would appear that the latest rounds of sanctions have made Iran more defiant and less willing to cooperate with the IAEA, at least in the short term. Since January 2007. Iran has withdrawn the designation of 38 agency inspectors.

"IAEA and Iran will continue to play a difficult diplomatic dance, with Iran retaining a minimum level of co-operation and providing the IAEA with only a limited degree of information, making the agency's findings persistently inconclusive," IHS said.

Available at:

Return to Menu

Iran Nuclear Report Raises New Fears
Jon Leyne
BBC News
(for personal use only)

The latest report from UN weapons inspectors has raised new fears that Iran could be building the capability to make nuclear weapons.

Until now, most experts believed that there were certain clear "red lines" that Iran would need to cross in order to make a bomb. Most importantly, it would need to block UN monitoring, in order to divert uranium from the existing programme to make it suitable for a nuclear warhead.

But it seems from the latest UN report that Iran is trying to stretch or blur those "red lines", enabling it to move closer to the ability to make a bomb without a major confrontation with the UN or the West.

Iran has continued to allow access to the UN inspectors - any attempt by Iran to end that would trigger a major international crisis.

But the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report shows Iran is playing a delicate game, co-operating, but at the same time limiting the UN's access to key plants and information.

Growing concerns

The leading think-tank, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), said Iran was taking a "minimalist" approach to its so-called Safeguards agreement with the nuclear inspectors, under which they are granted access to monitor the nuclear programme.

The ISIS warned that Iran was "degrading" that Safeguards agreement to such an extent that there was now a danger of Iran diverting uranium into a bomb-making programme and of that remaining undetected for a significant period of time.

Amongst the issues raising concern is Iran's policy on which inspectors to accept.

The IAEA believes Iran is trying to exclude inspectors with a good knowledge of Iran's programme in favour of those with less experience of it.

Iran has also refused to provide detailed plans of new plants outside Qom and in Arak.

Whether Iran is in breach of its agreement with the UN by doing this is disputed.

But the IAEA says Iran's approach "does not allow the agency to build confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities".

Or as the ISIS puts it - the approach increases fears that "Iran may seek to increase its capability to divert nuclear material in secret and produce weapon-grade uranium in a plant unknown to the inspectors or western intelligence agencies".

'Under the radar'

Until recently Iran was only enriching uranium to around 3.5%. To make a nuclear bomb this would need to be further enriched to around 95% purity.

That process would take at least a year, and it would be difficult to do it in secret, unless Iran took the radical step of expelling the UN inspectors. That, the theory goes, would give the world a clear warning sign, time to rally an international coalition to take action.

But Iran has now produced 22kgs of uranium enriched to 20%.

The Iranian government says it needs this to fuel the Tehran research reactor, though outside experts doubt that Iran has the know-how to convert it into a useable form for this purpose.

And by producing this higher grade of uranium, Iran is also reducing the time it would take to enrich it to weapons grade, perhaps down to just a matter of months.

It's a very different approach from Iran's neighbour Iraq, which engaged in very open clashes with UN inspectors, often blocking them from key sites.

Instead, Iran is managing to keep most of its differences with the inspectors "under the radar", never precipitating a major head-to-head confrontation.

None of this is proof, or even clear evidence, that Iran intends to build a bomb.

Iran insists that its uranium enrichment programme is purely peaceful. But none of the uranium being produced at the controversial Natanz plant is being used in the newly opened Bushehr reactor, Iran's only major reactor.

Iranian officials do enjoy outwitting the West as a point of pride.

There are advantages for Tehran in building up its capability to make a bomb, without necessarily taking the final decisive step in that direction.

And a recent report by another leading think-tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), not to be confused with the ISIS, pointed out that Iran was unlikely to have workable delivery system, in other words a big enough missile to use with a nuclear bomb, until around at least 2015.

Nevertheless, this latest UN report is likely to increase nervousness in Western capitals that the sooner or later the dispute over the Iranian nuclear programme may come to a head.

Available at:

Return to Menu

Iran Ready for Nuclear Fuel Swap Talks Based on Tehran Declaration: Spokesman
Xinhua News Agency
(for personal use only)

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast reiterated Tuesday that Iran is ready for nuclear fuel swap talks based on the Tehran Declaration.

Iran is ready for the talks with the Vienna group, comprising the United States, France, Russia and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on a nuclear fuel swap deal for a Tehran research reactor based on Tehran Declaration, said Mehmanparast in his weekly press briefing.

In August, the head of Iran's Majlis (Parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said Iran is on threshold of negotiations with the Vienna group, while there is no other base for talks but the Tehran Declaration.

In a tripartite meeting in Tehran on May 17, Iran signed an agreement with Turkey and Brazil, dubbed Tehran Declaration, to endorse a fuel swap deal, in which Iran agreed to ship most of its low enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for the 20 percent uranium fuel needed for its Tehran research reactor.

Available at:

Return to Menu

US Takes Steps Against European-Iranian Bank Accused of Ties to Iranian Nuclear Institutions
Associated Press
(for personal use only)

The United States has slapped sanctions on a German-based bank it accuses of helping Iranian institutions involved in illicit nuclear trade.

The Treasury Department announced Tuesday that it had taken steps against Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank that would isolate the bank from the U.S. financial system.

Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey calls the bank "a key financial lifeline for Iran" and says it has provided "financial services to Iranian WMD proliferators."

The United States and Europe have been looking for further ways of pressuring Iran since the United Nations' Security Council passed international sanctions this year.

Available at:,0,7435627.story

Return to Menu


Clinton Says North Korea Must Give Up Nuke Ambitions
Associated Press
(for personal use only)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. message to North Korea is the same, whoever leads the country: Give up your nuclear ambitions.

Clinton said Wednesday in a speech that the U.S. is watching the North's "leadership process" but doesn't know how it will turn out.

She says the U.S. and its partners want to "convince whoever is in leadership in North Korea that their future would be far better served by" abandoning their nuclear programs.

She says the North must "discuss seriously denuclearization that is irreversible."

Clinton's comments come ahead of talks next week on long-stalled disarmament talks by the Obama administration's envoys to North Korea and officials in Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing.

Available at:

Return to Menu

U.S. Team to Discuss North Korea in Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing
(for personal use only)

A U.S. government team will travel to Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing next week to discuss North Korea but has no plans to visit the poor, isolated state or meet its officials, the State Department said Tuesday.

Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, as well as State Department official Sung Kim and National Security Council staffer Daniel Russell will visit Seoul from September 12 to 14, Tokyo September 14 to 15, and Beijing September 15 to 16.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, who announced the trip, suggested the United States was in no hurry to resume so-called six-party talks aimed at persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear programs.

"We will continue our consultations with key parties in this process but I would suggest, as we have in the past, that it's North Korea that needs to do what it can to create a better environment for our progress," Crowley said.

The talks, which last took place in 2008, involve the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

Washington views the atomic capabilities of the North, which tested nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009, as a threat to its allies South Korea and Japan and a proliferation risk.

U.S.-North Korean relations have deteriorated since Obama took office, with his aides deeply unhappy about Pyongyang's decision to conduct nuclear and missile tests last year as well as the March 26 sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan.

Forty-six South Korean sailors were killed in the incident, which the United States, South Korea and other nations blame squarely on North Korea. Pyongyang denies responsibility.

U.S. officials have not said precisely what North Korea must do for Washington to be willing to return to the table.

Among other things, they have called on Pyongyang to cease its "provocative behavior," halt its belligerence toward its neighbors and take irreversible steps to fulfill its denuclearization commitments.

In 2005, North Korea agreed to abandon all its nuclear programs.

Available at:

Return to Menu

C.  Nuclear Cooperation

Gulf States 'Welcome' Mideast Peace Talks Relaunch
(for personal use only)

Gulf Cooperation Council foreign ministers have said they "welcome" the relaunch of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks but warned that Israeli "acts of aggression" may compromise them.

"The ministerial council welcomes... the resumption of direct Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations... in hope that the talks (which were relaunched) in Washington will lead to... the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital," a statement said.

But after a meeting in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah on Monday night, the six ministers warned that "continuing acts of aggression" by Israel could "undermine efforts to restore peace and stability in the region."

Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas resumed direct negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on Thursday, 20 months after he broke them off when Israel launched a devastating offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The Arab League gave its backing to the Palestinian president's decision to relaunch the talks but last week the 22-nation bloc's secretary general Amr Mussa noted widespread pessimism in the region about their prospects.

On Iran, the Gulf ministers said they were following developments in the standoff over its controversial nuclear programme with "deep concern."

They said they hoped Iran would cooperate with diplomatic efforts to allay suspicions about its intentions.

They supported "the right of countries in the region to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes... under the standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency," and called on Israel, which has the region's sole if undeclared nuclear arsenal, to apply those standards as well.

The ministers called on Iraqi leaders to "form a national consensus government... away from any sectarian or ethnic considerations and foreign interference."

Six months after an inconclusive general election, Iraqi leaders remain at loggerheads over the formation of a new governing coalition.

Washington has called on them to form a national unity administration that ensures representation for all of Iraq's ethnic and religious groups.

Iraqi politicians have blamed meddling by neighbouring countries for the deadlock, in what has been widely seen as an allusion to regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The GCC groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Available at:

Return to Menu

Russia Signals 2010 Arms Pact Ratification Up to U.S.
(for personal use only)

Russia is ready to ratify a nuclear arms pact with the United States this year but the landmark treaty could face problems in the U.S. Senate, the Kremlin-backed speaker of parliament said on Tuesday.

Speaker Boris Gryzlov's comments were a fresh indication that the Russian parliament is unlikely to ratify the new START treaty signed by Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in April until approval in the U.S. Senate appears certain.

"From a technical point of view there is every opportunity to complete this process by the end of the year," Gryzlov said in opening remarks at the autumn session of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.

"However, the American Senate is operating in the conditions of an election campaign, which could affect ratification procedures on the American side," said Gryzlov, a leader of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party.

In May, Medvedev told United Russia leaders the Duma should ratify the treaty at the same time as the U.S. Senate, but not a moment earlier or later.

The treaty, which would cut the number of deployed warheads allowed to each of the former Cold War foes by about 30 percent, is the most prominent product of efforts by Obama and Medvedev to "reset" badly frayed relations.

Failure to ratify the treaty could undermine improvements in Russia-U.S. ties and hurt both Obama and Medvedev before presidential elections in both countries in 2012.

Ratification requires 67 votes in the 100-seat U.S. Senate, and Republican criticism has increased as partisan rhetoric heats up before November 2 congressional elections.

Available at:

Return to Menu

D.  Nuclear Energy

India's Tata Power Plans to Spend $15 Billion, Increase Capacity Eightfold
Hemal Savai and Rakteem Katakey
(for personal use only)

Tata Power Co., the generating unit of India’s biggest industrial group, plans to spend 700 billion rupees ($15 billion) to increase capacity more than eightfold as faster economic growth boosts demand for electricity.

The utility plans to generate 25,000 megawatts by 2017, Chairman Ratan Tata told shareholders at the annual general meeting in Mumbai today. A 4,000-megawatt, coal-based plant in Gujarat state is 60 percent complete and the 1,050 megawatt Maithon project in Jharkhand state is 85 percent ready, he said.

“It looks to be too ambitious a plan,” said D.K. Aggarwal, chairman of SMC Wealth Management Services Ltd. in New Delhi. “Tying up such funds may be a concern because it will require a lot of debt in only a short span of seven years.”

Private companies are competing with state-owned NTPC Ltd. to set up power plants as India seeks to add electricity- generating capacity to help reduce blackouts in Asia’s second- fastest growing economy. Billionaire Anil Ambani’s Reliance Power Ltd. plans to build projects totaling 33,780 megawatts.

Tata Power shares gained 0.3 percent to 1,274.05 rupees in Mumbai trading. The stock has declined 8 percent this year compared with 7 percent increase in the benchmark Sensitive Index of the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Tata Power had 3,104 megawatts of generation capacity as of March 31, according to a presentation made to analysts in March. The utility plans to expand its wind and hydro power capacity and is exploring opportunities in geothermal energy.

Nuclear Plants

The company based in Mumbai wants to participate in building nuclear power plants in India, Tata said. Private participation in nuclear generation appears unlikely in the next five to seven years, Tata Power said in the presentation to analysts.

India’s upper house of parliament approved a bill on nuclear accidents Aug. 30 with tougher provisions for making suppliers accountable for defective equipment and capping damages payable by plant operators. The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill gives reactor operators the right to seek damages from companies providing defective or sub-standard technology.

Tata Power plans to set up solar facilities with a capacity of 300 megawatts by 2013, the company said July 7. This is part of India’s plan to increase the nation’s grid-connected solar capacity to 1,000 megawatts by 2013 and 20,000 megawatts by 2022 from 10 megawatts currently.

Wind Power

The company has 200 megawatts of operating wind-power capacity in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka states and has placed an order for 150 megawatts of additional capacity to be set up in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, according to an Aug. 12 statement.

India’s economy grew at the fastest pace in 2 1/2 years in the three months ended June 30, increasing demand for power.

Utilities in the country added 3,368 megawatts of electricity generating capacity in the four months to July 31, missing the target of 7,302 megawatts for the period, according to the Central Electricity Authority’s website.

India seeks to add 78,700 megawatts of electricity- generating capacity in the five years ending March 2012 and another 100,000 megawatts in the following five years to help reduce blackouts.

“There is a big gap in power and whoever fills that gap first benefits,” said Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd.

The country’s generation capacity was 163,670 megawatts as of July 31, according to the website of the Central Electricity Authority.

Mundra Capacity

The $4.2 billion Mundra plant in Gujarat is one of the ultra mega power projects, each of 4,000 megawatt capacity, that the government wants built to help reduce the shortage of electricity in the country.

The company expects 1,600 megawatts from Mundra to be added by March 2012 and 2,400 megawatts a year later, taking the utility’s total capacity to 8,242 megawatts, according to the presentation to analysts.

Reliance Power plans, which has generation assets of 1,000 megawatts, plans to add more than 3,000 megawatts by March 2012 and is building a total of 33,780 megawatts, Chief Executive Officer Jayarama Chalasani said Dec. 29, without giving a completion date. The company’s projects include three plants of 4,000 megawatts each.

NTPC, India’s biggest power producer, currently has 32,194 megawatts of capacity, including plants in joint ventures, and is targeting generation of 75,000 megawatts by March 2017.

Available at:

Return to Menu

U.S. Suppliers Unhappy Over Changes in Nuclear Liability Bill
The Hindu
(for personal use only)

The U.S. says it will look to India to see what “changes” can be made to the Nuclear Liability Bill just passed by Parliament in the wake of concerns over making suppliers of equipment also liable in the event of a nuclear accident.

“We continue our discussions with the Indian Government on this issue and we note that Indian business leaders are concerned about some specific aspects of the law that was just passed by Parliament,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in the first reaction by the Obama Administration to some controversial provisions in the Bill.

“We will look to the Indian Government to see what changes can be made,” Crowley told reporters in response to a question on the US business being reportedly unhappy on some aspects of the liability law. The liability legislation was a vital step to clear the decks for the full implementation of the historic Indo-U.S. civil nuclear deal.

On August 30, Parliament had adopted the nuclear liability bill with the government insisting that the compensation package for victims matches that of the U.S. and it was still open to accommodate some suggestions.

A U.S. South Asia expert has recently suggested that the Parliament had passed a flawed civil nuclear liability law, warning that it could cast a pall over the Indo-U.S. nuke deal.

US policymakers and industrial leaders were taken off guard over the passage of the legislation “despite retaining language inconsistent with international standards for engaging in nuclear commerce,” according to Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow for South Asia at The Heritage Foundation, a Washington think tank.

The law includes language that makes suppliers of equipment, raw materials, and services liable after the construction of a plant during any nuclear accident.

Noting that Indian business groups have denounced the legislation, Curtis said “This latest obstacle in the U.S.-India nuclear deal is unfortunate, as it follows the successful completion of a U.S.-India nuclear reprocessing agreement earlier this year, which granted India the right to reprocess spent nuclear fuel.”

Available at:

Return to Menu

Egypt Reactor Failed in April Says Nuclear Chief
Salah Nasrawi
Business Week
(for personal use only)

Egypt's 50-year-old, Russian built nuclear reactor suffered a breakdown last April, though no radiation leaked out, the head of the country's atomic program told a local paper Tuesday.

Mohammed el-Qulali of the Egyptian Nuclear Organization told the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm that the 2-megawatt research reactor failed and was shut down after a cooling pump broke.

He blamed the breakdown on a lack of coordination between the engineers in charge and those responsible for maintaining the safeguards.

"The operation did not go according to the rules and there was over confidence by some (engineers), which led to such a sizable problem," he said.

Experts from the U.N. nuclear watchdog later visited the site and issued recommendations for upgrading the reactor.

The news comes as Egypt is preparing to built its first nuclear power plant at a cost of between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak first announced plans to launch a number of nuclear power plants in 2007, reviving a program that was publicly shelved in the aftermath of the 1986 accident at a Soviet nuclear plant in Chernobyl.

He said the new plants would diversify the country's energy resources and take pressure off its oil and gas reserves, adding that that the reactor was for power-generating purposes only and there was no interest in developing weapons.

In August, Electricity Minister Hassan Younis said the site for new reactor would be at El-Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast west of Alexandria and the project could take 10 years.

Egypt began its nuclear program in 1954 and in 1961 it acquired the 2-megawatt research reactor from the Soviet Union. Argentina later helped build a 22-megawatt one in the 1990s. Both are located in the Nile Delta north of Cairo.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says Egypt had conducted small scale nuclear experiments for research purposes for the past four decades.

Like many other Arab countries, however, Egypt is said to be concerned about Israeli nuclear capabilities

The United States has said it would not object to the program as long as Egypt adhered to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and IAEA guidelines.

Available at:

Return to Menu

Germany's Merkel Defends Nuclear Plant Deal
Gary Peach and Juergen Baetz
Associated Press
(for personal use only)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday defended her government's decision to extend the lifetime of the country's nuclear plants against criticism that the deal guarantees huge windfall profits to utility companies.

On a visit to Latvia, Merkel told reporters that more than half of the extra profits will flow to state coffers, through a new nuclear fuel tax aimed at raising euro2.3 billion ($3 billion) annually between 2011 and 2016, and from contributions to a special fund promoting renewable energy.

Merkel's center-right government decided late Sunday to keep Germany's 17 nuclear plants open for another 12 years beyond 2021 — the year they were to have been taken offline under an agreement struck in 2000 by the previous center-left government and the utilities companies.

But the leading opposition parties, the Social Democrats and the Greens, said the deal was a gift for the nation's four main utility companies — E.ON AG, RWE AG, EnBW AG and the German subsidiary of Sweden's Vattenfall Europe.

Greenpeace spokesman Jan Beranek said the agreement was only benefiting "several large corporations ... with massively increased profits."

The Institute for Applied Ecology, a German think-tank, argued that even if energy prices rise only moderately, the extra profits for the companies will add up to euro127 billion ($164 billion).

According to calculations by the institute, three-quarters of that sum would be kept by the utility companies, with only euro30 billion flowing to the state coffers, including to the fund for supporting renewable energy.

Under the "unlikely scenario of constant electricity prices in real terms," the four utility companies would still get 58 percent of the profits, or euro44 billion, it said.

Merkel and the utility companies rejected these calculations.

"I think we have found a compromise that makes it clear to the energy suppliers that they have to pay a big part of their profits either as taxes or as investments for sources of renewable energy," Merkel told reporters in Riga.

"According to our estimates that is more than the half of it," she added.

Merkel said her government had intensely studied how to tax the additional profits — but the administration did not disclose its own calculations.

The opposition, meanwhile, has said it would ask the country's constitutional court to rule on whether the deal needs approval from both houses of parliament. Merkel wants to bypass the upper house as she only holds a solid majority in the lower house.

Available at:

Return to Menu

E.  Links of Interest

South Korea Announces Package of Sanctions on Iran
Chang Jae-soon and Yoo Jee-ho
Yonhap News Agency
(for personal use only)

Return to Menu

UN Initiates Plan to Combat Terrorist Threats in Central Asia
Xinhua News Agency
(for personal use only)

Return to Menu

Fresh Capital in the Uranium Fuel Race
Matthew L. Wald
The New York Times
(for personal use only)

Return to Menu

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran
(for personal use only)

Return to Menu

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

To be automatically removed from our mailing list, click on the following link: Remove Me From The List

If you have questions/comments/concerns, please reply to

Section Menu:

© 2007 Partnership for Global Security. All rights reserved. Privacy Statement.