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Nuclear News - 10/17/2011
PGS Nuclear News, October 17, 2011
Compiled By: Michael Kennedy


A.  Iran
    1. Iran Launches Uranium Yellowcake Production, RIA Novosti (10/17/2011)
    2. Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Plant Shuts for Tests, Government Says, Ladane Nasseri, Bloomberg (10/16/2011)
B.  Nuclear Energy
    1. Gov't and TEPCO to Aim for 'Cold Shutdown' of Fukushima Reactors by Year-End, The Mainichi Daily News (10/17/2011)
    2. Polish Nuclear Technology Tender to Launch in November, Warsaw Business Journal (10/17/2011)
    3. UAE's ENEC Seeks Approval to Prepare Nuclear Work, Daniel Fineren, Reuters (10/16/2011)
    4. Gov't White Paper on Energy Not to Call for Promotion of Nuclear Energy, The Mainichi Daily News (10/14/2011)
    5. London Embracing Nuclear Power, UPI (10/14/2011)
    6. Belarus Completes Environmental Assessment of Planned Nuclear Plant, Xinhua News Agency (10/13/2011)
    7. Russia to Finance 90 Percent of Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus, Xinhua News Agency (10/13/2011)
C.  Nuclear Safety & Security
    1. India’s N-Plan Failsafe: Minister, Hindustan Times (10/17/2011)
    2. Kudankulam N-Stir Suspended for Local Polls, Hindustan Times (10/16/2011)
    3. IAEA Urges Japan to be Less Conservative in Nuclear Cleanup, Shinichi Saoshiro, Reuters (10/14/2011)
    4. Fukushima Clean-Up Attracts Bids for $14 Billion in Projects, Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada, Bloomberg (10/13/2011)
D.  Nuclear Modernization
    1. House GOP, Senate Battle Over Allocation of $8.3 Billion in Nuclear Funds, John Bennett, The Hill (10/15/2011)
    2. US Worries Over China's Underground Nuclear Network, Agence France-Presse (10/15/2011)
E.  Links of Interest
    1. People's Power vs. Nuclear Power, The Daily Star (10/17/2011)
    2. India's Nuclear Path, Al Jazeera (10/15/2011)



A.  Iran

1.
Iran Launches Uranium Yellowcake Production
RIA Novosti
10/17/2011
(for personal use only)


Iran has manufactured the first batch of uranium yellowcake, the raw material used for nuclear fuel production, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday.

He spoke at a ceremony to mark the shipment of the first batch to Isfahan's Uranium Conversion Facility, the Fars news agency reported.

Iran has so far produced about 35 kilograms of 20% enriched uranium, Salehi said.

He also said Tehran will inaugurate a new unit in the next three months to produce plate fuel for the country's nuclear research reactors that produce radioisotopes for medical uses.

"We will have the capability to produce plate fuel in the next year," Salehi said.

Available at: http://en.ria.ru/world/20111017/167770884.html



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2.
Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Plant Shuts for Tests, Government Says
Ladane Nasseri
Bloomberg
10/16/2011
(for personal use only)


Iran’s first nuclear power plant, which was officially linked to the country’s electricity grid last month, was “temporarily disconnected” for safety tests, the government’s news website reported.

The Russian-built 1,000-megawatt Bushehr plant started generating electricity at 50 percent of its capacity on Oct. 7, a report in dolat.ir said. It was linked to the power grid on Sept. 12.

The plant will be disconnected from the national grid for “several weeks” until it can operate at full capacity by the end of 2011, Iranian officials said last month.

The U.S. and the European Union say Iran’s nuclear program may be a cover for the development of atomic weapons. Iran rejects the allegation, saying it needs nuclear power to meet the energy needs of its growing population.

Available at: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-16/iran-s-bushehr-nuclear-plant-shuts-for-tests-government-says.html


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B.  Nuclear Energy

1.
Gov't and TEPCO to Aim for 'Cold Shutdown' of Fukushima Reactors by Year-End
The Mainichi Daily News
10/17/2011
(for personal use only)


The government and the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) are expected to announce that they will aim for a stable condition called "cold shutdown" of the nuclear reactors at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant by the end of this year, slightly earlier than the originally planned deadline of mid-January.

The government will hold a meeting of its nuclear disaster taskforce as early as December to decide on whether they can call the "step 2" phase of the roadmap to bring the nuclear power plant under control finished. This "step 2" phase aims for "having the release of radioactive material under control and a sharp curb in radiation levels." The target period for achieving step
2 was set for "between mid-October and mid-January next year."

One condition for achieving a cold shutdown was having the temperature at the bottom of each reactor pressure vessel of the No. 1 to 3 nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant under 100 degrees Celsius from the beginning of this month -- a condition currently being met.

Furthermore, according to TEPCO, the amount of radioactive substances being released from
the nuclear reactor buildings from Sept. 1 to Sept. 15 was about 200 million becquerels per hour, about one four-millionth of what was measured immediately after the outbreak of the nuclear crisis, and the amount of radiation on the outer premises of the nuclear plant's grounds is estimated to be at most 0.4 millisieverts per year, below the legal limit.

For these reasons, senior officials of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry judged that "it is fully possible to achieve (a cold shutdown) ahead of schedule."

With respect to the possibility of achieving a cold shutdown by the end of this year, nuclear disaster minister Goshi Hosono said at an annual conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on Sept. 19, "We will do our best to achieve it by the end of this year." But when the government and TEPCO revised the nuclear disaster response roadmap on Sept. 20, they avoided making any promises, with Cabinet Office Parliamentary Secretary Yasuhiro Sonoda saying a cold shut down this year was "a nonbinding target because there are risks of torrential rains and aftershocks."

Available at: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111017p2a00m0na007000c.html



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2.
Polish Nuclear Technology Tender to Launch in November
Warsaw Business Journal
10/17/2011
(for personal use only)


State-owned energy giant Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), which has been charged with overseeing the building the first two nuclear plants in Poland, is expected to announce a tender for the supply of reactors in November, reported Parkiet.

The tender is expected to be worth at least zł.35 billion, making it one of the largest tenders in Polish history. The most interested parties are American firms GE Hitachi, and Westinghouse, as well as French firm Areva.

The deadline for offers from nuclear technology suppliers is likely to be the end of January, 2012, with the winners of the tender set be known in 2013.

Energy from the first nuclear plant in Poland is planned to be produced by 2020.

Available at: http://www.wbj.pl/article-56472-polish-nuclear-technology-tender-to-launch-in-november.html?typ=wbj


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3.
UAE's ENEC Seeks Approval to Prepare Nuclear Work
Daniel Fineren
Reuters
10/16/2011
(for personal use only)


The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation has asked the United Arab Emirates' Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) to approve some preparatory work for the country's first nuclear power plant, ENEC said on Sunday.

The oil-exporting UAE has plans to build four nuclear reactors by 2020 to meet growing domestic energy demand. FANR asked for design and site reviews after Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, but said the reviews would not delay plans.

After applying for a license at the end of 2010, ENEC is still awaiting approval to build the Braka nuclear Units 1 and 2 but is pushing for permission to prepare the sites for pouring concrete to house the rectors.

"ENEC is not authorized to pour concrete for the permanent power block until it is granted a construction License from FANR," it said in a statement.

"ENEC submitted its Construction License Application for Braka Units 1 and 2 to FANR on December 27, 2010 and the application is currently under review."

The UAE awarded the contract to build the reactors to a consortium of Korean companies led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) in December 2009.

The first unit could start commercial operations in 2017 -- subject to timely regulatory approval -- and ENEC hopes to pour the first concrete for the first reactor in late 2012, with foundations flowing for the second block in late 2013.

Several countries in the Middle East have said they want to develop civilian nuclear programs to meet rising demand for electricity and boost fossil fuel exports.

But the Fukushima accident, caused by a huge earthquake and tsunami in Japan, has prompted some countries to reconsider their atomic ambitions.

Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/16/us-uae-nuclear-approval-idUSTRE79F19O20111016


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4.
Gov't White Paper on Energy Not to Call for Promotion of Nuclear Energy
The Mainichi Daily News
10/14/2011
(for personal use only)


A government white paper on energy, which is expected to be approved by the Cabinet soon, will not call for the promotion of nuclear energy in line with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's policy of reducing the nation's reliance on nuclear power following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, government sources said Thursday.

The paper, however, stipulates the government's intention to resume operations of idled nuclear plants after regular checkups to secure power generation capacity for the time being, the sources said.

The latest energy white paper lacks descriptions of the advantages and significance of nuclear energy that were seen in the past annual documents. The government delayed the release of the fiscal 2010 white paper in the aftermath of the March 11 disaster.

Sentences on the government's policy of promoting nuclear power "as a key power source" and claims that "safety measures against quakes and tsunami have been fully implemented" at nuclear plants, were not included in the latest white paper, according to the sources.

The document says the Fukushima disaster triggered by the March earthquake and tsunami "underlined challenges to secure safety" at nuclear power plants, but emphasizes the policy of restarting idled plants on condition that their safety will be more closely scrutinized and local consent for the restart will be obtained.

Available at: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111014p2g00m0dm018000c.html



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5.
London Embracing Nuclear Power
UPI
10/14/2011
(for personal use only)


Nuclear energy should play a role in the future energy mix for Great Britain in part because it makes economic sense, the British energy minister said.

British Energy Secretary Chris Huhne told delegates at the noted Royal Society nuclear energy will play a strong role in the future energy mix for the country.

The meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, sparked by a 9-magnitde earthquake and tsunami in March, prompted the international community to take another look at the safety of nuclear energy. Germany has already decided to phase out nuclear energy from its grid.

Yet Huhne said he remained optimistic, especially in the wake of a British review of the Fukushima disaster.

"Nuclear energy has risks, but we face the greater risk of accelerating climate change if we do not embark on another generation of nuclear power," he said in his remarks. "Time is running
out."

In terms of financing, he said nuclear energy costs around $100 per megawatt hour, compared with $200 per megawatt hour for offshore wind. Those figures, he said, include the cost of waste and decommissioning.

The International Atomic Energy Agency had said it expected a slow growth rate for nuclear energy following Japan's disaster. Huhne, however, said London would continue to embrace nuclear power for the foreseeable future.

"So with my eyes open, and with a nervous look at the past, I say that we need nuclear to be a part of our energy mix in the future," he said.

Available at: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2011/10/14/London-embracing-nuclear-power/UPI-14871318602920/


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6.
Belarus Completes Environmental Assessment of Planned Nuclear Plant
Xinhua News Agency
10/13/2011
(for personal use only)


Belarus has completed an environmental impact assessment of its planned nuclear power plant, officials said Thursday.

"As for the environmental impact assessment, all the stages of the assessment were completed," said Alexander Andreyev, head of the State Ecological Examination Office of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry.

"The construction site was also approved, and all the parties concerned were informed about it," he added.

With regards to Lithuania' s complaints of the construction site of the nuclear power plant, Andreyev said that they are "politically motivated."

"After all, Lithuania is going to construct its Visaginas nuclear power plant just 2.3 km from the Belarusian border," he said.

Russia's Atomstroyexport will build two nuclear reactors with a total power capacity of 2,400 megawatts near in the western Belarussian region of Grodno.

Moscow and Minsk in March signed a preliminary intergovernmental agreement on the NPP project, estimated at 9.4 billion U.S. dollars.

Available at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/13/c_131190063.htm



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7.
Russia to Finance 90 Percent of Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus
Xinhua News Agency
10/13/2011
(for personal use only)


Russia will provide Belarus with a loan that will cover 90 percent of the costs of a nuclear power plant project in the country, officials said Thursday.

Mikhail Mikhadyuk, the deputy energy minister, said the amount of the nearly completed loan is sufficient to finance the jointly build nuclear facility.

"We just need to agree on some points at the level of experts, and the agreement will be sent for internal procedures both in Russia and in Belarus because this is the intergovernmental agreement," Mikhadyuk said.

Moscow and Minsk signed a contract Tuesday on cooperation in the construction of the power plant, which is worth 9.4 billion U.S. dollars.

Mikhadyuk said that under the agreement, Russia is obliged to develop the plant's infrastructure, including production facilities and engineering network.

The plant is scheduled to be operational by 2017.

Available at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/13/c_131190053.htm


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C.  Nuclear Safety & Security

1.
India’s N-Plan Failsafe: Minister
Hindustan Times
10/17/2011
(for personal use only)


India is basing its nuclear programme on the most recent technologies available, which makes it failsafe, minister of state in the Prime Minister’s office, V. Narayanasamy, has said. The government will not rethink its nuclear policy, much less shelve it, even as protests over a new plant in Tamil Nadu continued. Though there was some apprehension at “the highest level” immediately after the Japan incident, a government-ordered safety audit showed that Indian plants could withstand natural disasters similar to the one that devastated Japan’s plants, he said.

“India’s nuclear programme doesn’t compare with Japan’s situation. Japan is a seismic-zone-5 country; our plants are in seismic zone 2 or 3,” Narayanasamy said.

Additionally, a host of new security features are being added to the country’s 20 reactors, the minister said.

Narayanasamy said all Indian plants were designed to shut down following natural disasters.

New features were being added to several reactors situated on the shorelines, which include physical barriers, power backup to prevent the kind of overheating that caused a Fukushima plant to explode, he said.

According to the minister, “EPR” reactors to be installed at the French-built Jaitapur plant are of the “evolutionary-design” type, one with several new safety features.

Available at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/newdelhi/India-s-N-plan-failsafe-Minister/Article1-758144.aspx


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2.
Kudankulam N-Stir Suspended for Local Polls
Hindustan Times
10/16/2011
(for personal use only)


The second wave of protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant was called off temporarily on Sunday in view of the local body polls across Tamil Nadu. The hunger strike by 106 villagers and blockade of the plant in Tirunelveli district, 650 km south of Chennai, was suspended after political party representatives met the protesters.

“We are temporarily calling off the protests to ensure smooth polls,” said SP Udaykumar, convenor of the People Against Nuclear Energy, which is spearheading the protests.

Another leader said, “The hunger strike will restart on Tuesday after polling ends Monday.” He did not say if the blockade would begin again.

More than 1,000 people trapped on the premises of the Indo-Russian project breathed easy at the break in the blockade that began on October 13, the fifth day of the protests.

The protesters, who had till then resorted to fasts, had blocked the roads to the plant,
preventing the entry of scientists, engineers and contract labourers.

By Saturday, those trapped inside faced a shortage of essential supplies. Later, Nuclear PowerCorporation of India Ltd officials had sent the essential items inside with police help.

The first wave of protests had ended on September 21.

Available at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/chennai/Kudankulam-protest-temporarily-called-off/Article1-758023.aspx


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3.
IAEA Urges Japan to be Less Conservative in Nuclear Cleanup
Shinichi Saoshiro
Reuters
10/14/2011
(for personal use only)


Japan should be less conservative in cleaning up vast areas contaminated by radiation from the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, a team of visiting U.N. nuclear experts said on Friday.

Japan is burdened with the task of cleaning up the tsunami-hit Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, located 240 kilometres (150 miles) northeast of Tokyo, and the surrounding regions.

The plant, crippled by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March, has spread radiation, stoking public concerns and forcing some 80,000 people to leave their homes after the government banned entry within a 20 km radius of Daiichi.

Removing layers of topsoil from areas contaminated by radiation is one of the methods being considered by Japan, but the team of 12 experts sent by the Vienna-based International Atomic Agency (IAEA) said it would be impractical.

"We are not saying the government's approach is over-conservative, what we want is for the government to avoid becoming over-conservative in the future," said Tero Tapio Varjoranta, the team's deputy leader.

Efforts to bring the plant under control have progressed steadily, but Japan still faces the challenge of decontaminating vast land affected by the disaster, which the environmental ministry says could be about 2,400 square km (930 square miles), an area roughly the size of Luxembourg.

Japan's environmental ministry has said the method of scraping off surface soil could result in about 29 million cubic metres of radioactive waste that needs to be disposed, and finding a final storage place for the debris is seen as a major headache for the government.

"Where applicable, there are methods that do not require storage. There are about 60
remediation technologies available. We are taking the advice from our experiences in Chernobyl, where a lot of mistakes were made," Varjoranta said.

Some of the methods included mixing up the removed topsoil with clean material for the construction of roads and reinforcement of banks, or storing them in various layers, the IAEA
says.

The IAEA team, which will end its nine-day mission on Saturday, will present a final report to the Japanese government next month.

"The word 'conservative' appeared several times in the report. We have been working based on the concept of the public's safety and I don't think that is wrong," said Goshi Hosono, Japan's environmental minister, after being presented with a draft report by the IAEA officials.

But he added: "We need to take their advice into consideration when we create our road map for the storage of radioactive waste."

Available at: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/10/14/uk-japan-nuclear-iaea-idUKTRE79D2FM20111014


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4.
Fukushima Clean-Up Attracts Bids for $14 Billion in Projects
Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada
Bloomberg
10/13/2011
(for personal use only)


Sumitomo Corp. (8053), IHI Corp. (7013) and Obayashi Corp. (1802) are among companies seeking to win decontamination contracts around the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant as Japan sets aside $14 billion for the clean up.

Fukushima prefecture has received 143 preliminary proposals, mostly to decontaminate radiated soil and water, from companies, universities, non-profit organizations and individuals, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News from the prefectural government.

Japan’s environment ministry will budget more than 1.1 trillion yen for decontamination by the end of the next fiscal year, Goshi Hosono, minister in charge of the response to the nuclear crisis, said Sept. 30.

“Estimating how much decontamination will cost is very difficult, so the government is trying to figure out rough figures through test projects,”said Tadashi Inoue at the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry who is advising the Fukushima government. “The cost will be enormous.”

Iitate village, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Fukushima nuclear plant, announced a decontamination cost estimate on Sept 28 of 322.4 billion yen, suggesting the government budget isn’t big enough.

The Environment Ministry will increase the budget if it proves insufficient, said Tsutomu Utsunomiya, an assistant director at the environment management bureau at the ministry. He didn’t say by how much.

Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi atomic plant has been leaking radiation since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disabled cooling systems leading to the meltdown of uranium fuel rods in three reactors. Cracks in the containment vessels for the melted fuel have allowed radiation leaks that will leave some areas uninhabitable for two decades or more, according to a government estimate in August.

Companies with nuclear engineering experience such as Hitachi and IHI will see demand for their decontamination technology, said Masashi Hayami, a Tokyo-based analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “There are a limited number of companies that can do decontamination work because it requires sophisticated nuclear power technology.”

IHI, a Japanese heavy machinery maker, proposed a mobile water decontamination system to filter out radioactive material and a waste storage container for soil and debris, Hiroshi Nakamura, the head of IHI’s reconstruction team for the earthquake, said in an interview.

The Fukushima government will set up test decontamination projects by the end of this month, said Katsumasa Suzuki, an official at the headquarters for disaster control in the Fukushima government. The prefecture hasn’t estimated the decontaminate costs, he said.

Obayashi, a construction contractor, is pitching a radiation monitoring system, according to the documents. Obayashi spokesman Sanshiro Kobayashi confirmed it has made proposals for decontamination projects. He declined to elaborate.

Hitachi Zosen Corp. (7004), an industrial machinery maker, proposed a radioactive soil treatment facility, according to the documents. Hitachi Zosen spokesman Teruaki Yamada confirmed it offered its technology and declined to comment on details.

Sumitomo Corp., Shimizu Corp. (1803) and a unit of Marubeni Corp. (8002) also offered proposals, according to the documents.

“It’s vital to start decontamination immediately, for the sake of residents,” said Keizo Ishii, professor of quantum science and energy engineering at Tohoku University who is advising Fukushima city. “It’s easy to tell effective from non- effective technologies once decontamination starts.”

Available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-14/fukushima-clean-up-attracts-bids-for-14-billion-in-projects.html


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D.  Nuclear Modernization

1.
House GOP, Senate Battle Over Allocation of $8.3 Billion in Nuclear Funds
John Bennett
The Hill
10/15/2011
(for personal use only)


Senate aides are pushing back on a House GOP charge that the upper chamber is trying to divert $8.3 billion in nuclear weapons funds to water projects, saying such a shift is impossible.

The funding in question is needed to carry out the modernization work on America’s nuclear arsenal that is called for under the recent START nuclear weapons treaty with Russia.

In a letter to Senate appropriators, House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and other GOP members questioned why the Senate seems to be moving $8.3 billion in funds that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates wanted spent on the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to water projects.

The House lawmakers based their concerns on the Senate’s Energy and Water Appropriations bill for fiscal 2012.

“It appears this defense money was instead given to water-related projects such as dams, dredging, and canals,” according to the letter, sent last Thursday to Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and ranking member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), as well as the chairwoman and ranking member of its Energy and Water subcommittee, Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

But Senate aides on Friday said that charge is false. They told The Hill the debt-ceiling deal passed in August places nuclear weapons modification programs into a security account and water projects into a non-security pot of money. The act stipulates that funds cannot be moved between those spending accounts, the aides said.

“There’s no way to take money from water to weapons or vice versa under the Budget Control Act,” one aide said. “There is a hard wall between those two pots of money.

“To the notion that we’re taking money away from weapons: you just cannot do that,” the aide
said.

The Senate’s energy and water spending bill “would cut funding for the [NNSA] by $706 million [6 percent] from the president’s budget request,” according to the GOP letter.

But “funding for NNSA’s weapons activities — which directly supports modernization of the nuclear weapons arsenal and its supporting infrastructure — would be cut by $440 million [5.8 percent] under the bill,” the Republican letter states.

The Senate aides said those numbers don’t accurately reflect their legislation.

The upper chamber’s bill proposes a $528 million increase for NNSA over the 2011 level, the aides said. For NNSA weapon programs, the bill proposes a $100 million hike over 2011 levels.

“For weapons, that is $400 million shy of what the [Obama] administration requested, but everyone is taking a haircut here,” the Senate aide said.

Those proposed spending hikes are among the largest in the Energy and Water spending measure, the Senate aides said.

The aides said senators and staffers “are looking at” whether to seek to inflate NNSA’s nuclear modification spending levels when the legislation hits the Senate floor, likely within a few weeks.

Available at: http://thehill.com/news-by-subject/defense-homeland-security/187779-house-senate-battle-over-83-billion-in-nuclear-funds



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2.
US Worries Over China's Underground Nuclear Network
Agence France-Presse
10/15/2011
(for personal use only)


A leading US lawmaker who fears budget cuts could delay modernizing the US nuclear arsenal voiced concern Friday about an extensive tunnel complex designed to house Chinese nuclear missiles.

"This network of tunnels could be in excess of 5,000 kilometers (3,110 miles), and is used to transport nuclear weapons and forces," said Michael Turner, who chairs a House Armed Services Committee panel focusing on strategic weapons and other security programs.

"As we strive to make our nuclear forces more transparent, China is building this underground tunnel system to make its nuclear forces even more opaque," he added, citing an unclassified Department of Defense report.

Experts also expressed their concern about the network, whose existence was revealed by official Chinese media in late 2009.

The tunnels would allow China to launch a nuclear counter-attack if it was hit by a nuclear strike. "It's almost mind-boggling," said Mark Schneider, senior analyst at the National Institute for Public Policy.

"It has enormous implications in terms of their view toward nuclear warfare, survivability of their systems and their leadership in the event of war.

"It is virtually impossible to target anything like that, irrespective of how many nuclear weapons you have," he added.

Richard Fisher of the International Assessment and Strategy Center said the tunnel complex could allow the Chinese army to conceal its weapons.

"Do we really know how many missiles the Chinese have today?" he asked.

Turner expressed concern that planned cuts to the Pentagon could block efforts to modernize the US arsenal.

"We need to understand the potential long-term consequences of watching as Russia and China modernize their nuclear arsenal while we sit back and simply maintain our existing and aging nuclear forces," he warned.

Available at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iHO_kCCLQm86s29jw45FIx6EkdLQ?docId=CNG.19cbae00c31007ab44469985e8a939e2.6a1


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E.  Links of Interest

1.
People's Power vs. Nuclear Power
The Daily Star
10/17/2011
(for personal use only)
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=206773


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2.
India's Nuclear Path
Al Jazeera
10/15/2011
(for personal use only)
http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/10/20111011113454624274.html


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

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