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Nuclear News - 3/1/2011
PGS Nuclear News, March 1, 2011
Compiled By: Matthew Kapuscinski


A.  Iran
    1. Iran Blames Broken Pump for Atom Fuel Removal-Experts, Fredrik Dahl, Reuters (2/28/2011)
    2. Iran FM in Geneva for UN Rights Council, PressTV (2/28/2011)
    3. Iran Fully Prepared, Monitoring Threats, PressTV (2/28/2011)
    4. Iran Downplays Part of IAEA Report on Its Nuclear Program, Xinhua News Agency (2/27/2011)
    5. Iranian FM Blames West for "Negative Approach" to Nuclear Issue, Xinhua News Agency (2/27/2011)
    6. IAEA Says Gets Info on Possible Iran Military Work, Fredrik Dahl, Reuters (2/26/2011)
B.  DPRK
    1. North Korea Threatens to Attack South Korea, US, Associated Press (2/27/2011)
    2. 6-Party Talks Out of Question Unless North Korea's Uranium Issue is Addressed, The Korea Times (2/26/2011)
    3. US, South Korea Discuss North Korea Nuclear Program, AFP (2/25/2011)
C.  Nuclear Cooperation
    1. South Korea Not Mulling Return of U.S. Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Government, Yonhap News Agency (2/28/2011)
    2. Cambodia Not Ready to Build Chemical or Nuclear Weapons, Xinhua News Agency (2/25/2011)
D.  Nuclear Energy
    1. Jaitapur Nuclear Project: Chavan Says Locals Being Misled, Outlook India (2/26/2011)
    2. German Opposition to Challenge Nuclear Law, Sueddeutsche Says, Patrick Donahue, Bloomberg (2/26/2011)
    3. Russia to Build Bangladesh's First Nuclear Plant, Farid Hossain, Business Week (2/25/2011)
E.  Links of Interest
    1. Kim Jong II's Nuclear Resolve, Jack David and Melanie Kirkpatrick, The Wall Street Journal (2/28/2011)
    2. South Korea, U.S. Brush Off North Threat, Begin Big Drills, Jack Kim, Reuters (2/28/2011)
    3. Report Says Iran in Secret Uranium Talks with Zimbabwe, The Zimbabwean (2/26/2011)



A.  Iran

1.
Iran Blames Broken Pump for Atom Fuel Removal-Experts
Fredrik Dahl
Reuters
2/28/2011
(for personal use only)


Iran is believed to have told the U.N. atomic watchdog a broken pump is forcing it to remove fuel from its first nuclear power reactor, a new setback for the $1 billion project, experts familiar with the issue said on Monday.

They said it was a potentially significant problem likely to cause further delays for the Russian-built Bushehr plant, which has yet to start injecting power into Iran's national grid. Russia backed up the claim that a cooling pump had broken.

Iran has said Bushehr, first in a planned network of nuclear power plants, will start producing electricity early this year.

It says the plant is proof of the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme and that its uranium enrichment work is only meant to produce reactor fuel, rejecting Western accusations the Islamic Republic may be seeking to develop atomic bombs.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in Geneva on Monday: "Safety for us and reliability is more important than the start-up of a reactor at an earlier time."

He was speaking after talks with his EU counterpart which he said he hoped would lead to further talks with world powers on Iran's disputed nuclear programme.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report obtained by Reuters on Friday that Iran had told it that fuel assemblies would be removed from the core of the Bushehr reactor, just a few months after they were loaded.

The confidential IAEA document did not give a reason for the unusual action, which is expected to take place soon.

"DAMAGED ELEMENTS"

Russia's state-run nuclear energy agency, Rosatom, said in a statement: "Internal elements belonging to one of the four cooling pumps were found damaged." It said the cause of failure was a worn-out node and that checks on the other three pumps were being carried out.

Small pieces of metal about 3 mm-thick, or about one-eighth of an inch, had entered the cooling system, the agency said.

They would be rinsed out when the reactor vessel was cleaned. "After that fuel will be re-loaded into the reactor unit," the statement added, saying the pumps dated from the 1970s.

One independent expert said if not fixed, the problem could ultimately have led to a small radioactive leakage into the reactor's cooling water.

"They are probably very happy it happened before it went critical (the plant starting to operate) because now they can inspect the fuel a lot more easily," the expert, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue, told Reuters.

Russia's nuclear agency said that since the plant was not in operation, no additional equipment nor specialists were required.

Bushehr was begun by Germany's Siemens in the 1970s, before Iran's Islamic revolution, and has been dogged by delays. Fuel was loaded into the reactor four months ago but a January deadline for it to start producing electricity was missed.

Further woes could be an embarrassment not only to Iranian politicians who have made Bushehr the showpiece of Tehran's nuclear ambitions, but also for Russia, which would like to export more of its atomic know-how to emerging economies.

Mark Hibbs, a senior associate in the Nuclear Policy Programme of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that if it was a broken pump that was the problem, small bits of metal in the cooling water could damage the fuel rods.

"If that happens, radioactive gases can escape from the fuel and into the coolant," Hibbs said. "There has to be a cause analysis there to find out why the equipment failed."

Iran's nuclear envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh told the ISNA news agency Russian engineers who built the plant on Iran's Gulf coast had advised that the fuel be unloaded for tests. The plant's head said it was being removed for safety reasons.

Ian Hore-Lacy, communications director at the World Nuclear Association, an industry body, said fuel removal was unusual but it may happen during the run-up to starting the reactor.

"Fuel unloading, removal and replacement of core internals, checking, full inspection of fuel elements, and then re-loading could take about three weeks," he said in an email to Reuters.

Experts say that firing up the Bushehr plant would not take Iran any closer to building a nuclear bomb since Russia will supply the enriched uranium for the reactor and take away spent fuel that could be used to make weapons-grade plutonium.

Available at:
http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFLDE71R14X20110228?sp=true


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2.
Iran FM in Geneva for UN Rights Council
PressTV
2/28/2011
(for personal use only)


Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has arrived in the Swiss city of Geneva to attend the 16th session of the UN Human Rights Council and a plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament.

Salehi, who arrived in Geneva early Monday at the head of a high-ranking delegation, is scheduled to deliver speeches at the four-week session of the UN Human Rights Council and the Conference on Disarmament.

The top Iranian diplomat also plans to hold bilateral negotiations with heads of delegations attending the conference, IRNA reported.

The UN Disarmament Conference, the world's sole multinational negotiating forum for disarmament, has been meeting in Geneva since 1979. It comprises of 65 member states, including Brazil, Britain, Iran, Turkey and the United States.

Cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament, prevention of nuclear war, comprehensive program of disarmament and transparency in armaments are part of the agenda that the Conference pursues.

The UN Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body with 47 member states, which was established by the UN General Assembly in 2006 with the main purpose of addressing instances of human rights violations.

Available at:
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/167377.html


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3.
Iran Fully Prepared, Monitoring Threats
PressTV
2/28/2011
(for personal use only)


A top Iranian military commander has said that the Islamic Republic's Armed Forces are fully prepared and that Iran closely monitors threats.

“Threats are regularly monitored, and the Islamic Republic of Iran's Armed Forces have a close eye on what goes on around the country and on the slightest moves, and prepare themselves in accordance with threats,” Commander of the Iranian Army's Ground Forces Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan told Mehr news agency.

The Iranian top military commander pointed out that the full preparation of Iran's Armed Forces is due to training, weaponry, technique, and tactic, as well as launching various drills, and carrying out new tactics.

He also noted that Iran's enemies are not in a position to launch an attack on the Islamic Republic since their failures in Afghanistan and Iraq have crippled them, adding that “nevertheless...we always try to keep prepared.”

Iran has managed to develop modern military hardware, including missiles, missile launchers and vessels, despite US-backed sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program.

However, the Islamic Republic has repeatedly announced that its military prowess poses no threat, whatsoever, to regional countries.

The Islamic Republic has reiterated on numerous occasions that its military might is aimed at deterrence and repelling possible acts of aggression.

Tel Aviv and Washington have repeatedly threatened Tehran with a military strike, based on allegations that Iran's nuclear program may have hidden military aspects.

Iranian officials reject Western accusations that Tehran is pursuing a military nuclear program, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Iran has the right to apply peaceful aspects of nuclear energy.

In its numerous reports on Iran's nuclear work, the International Atomic Energy Agency has also confirmed non-diversion of the country's nuclear program.

Iranian military officials also dismiss threats of invasion, warning the United States and Israel that any military movement against Iran's nuclear facilities would spread beyond the region.

Available at:
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/167429.html


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4.
Iran Downplays Part of IAEA Report on Its Nuclear Program
Xinhua News Agency
2/27/2011
(for personal use only)


Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Sunday that the issue of the alleged studies mentioned in the latest report of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano "lacks any real basis," the official IRNA news agency reported.

Under the term "alleged studies," which is supposedly based on a set of purloined top-secret Iranian military documents, the United States claimed that Iran is covertly pursuing a nuclear- weapons program.

In a report issued on Friday by Amano, it said that new information received by IAEA adds to further concerns that Iran has possibly worked on nuclear weapons.

Salehi expressed hope that the issue of the alleged studies would be removed from the next reports of the UN nuclear watchdog about Iran's "peaceful nuclear activities."

He told the official IRNA news agency that the alleged studies is an "unfounded matter" originally brought to the IAEA's report by former chief of the IAEA Mohamed ElBaradei under the pressures of the western states.

The IAEA should "act independently and prevent taking side by the western states," he was quoted as saying.

According to the Sunday report of the English language satellite Press TV, Salehi also criticized Western countries for their "negative approach" towards Iran's nuclear program.

Despite Iran's constructive cooperation with the IAEA, Western governments are pursuing double-standard policies towards Iran's nuclear energy program, Salehi said.

Salehi also censured the West for adopting a different approach in regard to Israel, which refuses to sign the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Iran is ready to hold more talks with the G5+1, namely Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany, Salehi was quoted as saying by Press TV.

The nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers in Istanbul wrapped up without any progress on Jan. 22.

On Saturday, Iranian ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh said the agency has confirmed again there was no diversion to military purposes in Iranian nuclear program, according to the local ISNA news agency.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency has again confirmed for the 26th time that there is no diversion to military purposes in Iran's nuclear work," Soltanieh was quoted as saying.

"The agency's supervision on Iran's nuclear activities including uranium enrichment is evident in the whole report," he told ISNA.

He undermined the impact of the UN and Western sanction resolutions on Iran over its nuclear program.

"We, relying on legal documents, have proved that the resolutions have no credit and we believe that the resolutions do not have the capability to be implemented," he was quoted as saying.

The West has long been accusing Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons under civilian disguise, which has been denied by Tehran.

Available at:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-02/28/c_13752826.htm


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5.
Iranian FM Blames West for "Negative Approach" to Nuclear Issue
Xinhua News Agency
2/27/2011
(for personal use only)


Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi criticized Western countries for their "negative approach" towards Iran's nuclear program, the English language satellite Press TV reported Sunday.

Despite Iran's constructive cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Western governments are pursuing double-standard policies towards Iran's nuclear energy program, Salehi said during a meeting with Japanese Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Bessho Koro in Tehran on Saturday.

Salehi also censured the West for adopting a different approach in regard to Israel, which refuses to sign the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the report said.

Iran is ready to hold more talks with the G5+1, namely Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany, Salehi was quoted as saying.

For his part, the Japanese deputy foreign minister said Iran has the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and added that Tokyo is determined to develop ties with Tehran, according to the report.

The nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers in Istanbul wrapped up without any progress on Jan. 22.

The West has long been accusing Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons under civilian disguise, which has been denied by Tehran.

Available at:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-02/27/c_13752674.htm


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6.
IAEA Says Gets Info on Possible Iran Military Work
Fredrik Dahl
Reuters
2/26/2011
(for personal use only)


The U.N. atomic watchdog has received new information regarding allegations that Iran may be seeking to develop a nuclear-armed missile, the agency said in a report voicing deepening concern about the issue.

The confidential document from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signalled growing frustration at what it sees as Iran's lack of cooperation with a long-running investigation into its disputed nuclear programme.

It also underlined Iran's determination to press ahead with sensitive atomic activity despite four rounds of U.N. sanctions since 2006, saying the country had informed the IAEA it would soon start operating a second uranium enrichment plant.

The Islamic Republic had also told the Vienna-based U.N. body of plans to step up efforts to introduce more advanced machines used to enrich uranium, which can have both civilian and military purposes, the report said.

The report looked likely to add to Western suspicions that Iran is secretly bent on building a nuclear weapons capability from its enrichment programme, which Tehran denies.

It may also provide the United States and allies with additional arguments for further tightening sanctions on Iran, after talks in December and January failed to make any progress towards resolving the dispute.

The IAEA report, obtained by Reuters on Friday, said it remained concerned about possible current activity in Iran to design a nuclear payload.

"Iran is not engaging with the agency in substance on issues concerning the allegation that Iran is developing a nuclear payload for its missile programme," it said.

For several years, the IAEA has been investigating Western intelligence reports indicating Iran has coordinated efforts to process uranium, test explosives at high altitude and revamp a ballistic missile cone in a way suitable for a nuclear warhead.

The report said that based on an analysis of "additional information which has come to its attention since August 2008, including new information recently received, there are further concerns which the agency ... needs to clarify with Iran."

NEW CENTRIFUGES PREPARED?

Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told Reuters that allegations of military aspects to Iran's nuclear programme were "totally fabricated".

Enriched uranium can be used to fuel nuclear power plants, which is Iran's stated aim, or provide material for bombs if processed much further.

In a surprise development, the report said Iran had said it "would have to unload fuel assemblies" from the core of the Russian-built Bushehr reactor, which Iranian officials have previously said would soon start generating electricity.

Iran did not give a reason for its move, which was announced a month after Russia said NATO should investigate a computer virus attack on Bushehr last year, saying the incident could have triggered a nuclear disaster on the scale of Chernobyl.

Security experts say the Stuxnet computer worm may have been a state-sponsored attack on Iran's nuclear programme and may have originated in the United States or Israel.

Despite a brief halt of enrichment work in November, Iran's total output of low-enriched uranium rose to reach a total of 3.61 tonnes, from 3.18 tonnes at the end of October, suggesting steady work despite technical woes and possible cyber sabotage.

Experts say that amount could be enough for two bombs if refined much further.

In a further sign that Tehran has no intention of bowing to demands to halt such activity, the report said Iran had told the IAEA earlier this week it planned to begin feeding nuclear material at its second enrichment facility "by this summer".

In September 2009, Iran revealed the existence of the site, Fordow, being built inside a mountain bunker near the central city of Qom after keeping it secret for years.

Iran had also said it planned to install two new centrifuge cascades in a R&D facility at its main enrichment plant at Natanz with more modern machines than the IR-1 model now in use, which is based on a 1970s design and prone to breakdowns.

"They should have a significantly higher enrichment output and a lower failure rate than the IR-1 centrifuge," the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington-based think-tank, said in an analysis.

Available at:
http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFLDE71O25620110226?sp=true


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B.  DPRK

1.
North Korea Threatens to Attack South Korea, US
Associated Press
2/27/2011
(for personal use only)


North Korea threatened Sunday to enlarge its nuclear arsenal and "mercilessly" attack South Korea and the United States, as the allies prepared for joint military drills which the North considers a rehearsal for invasion.

North Korea routinely issues threats over the annual joint military drills, but its latest warning could rekindle tensions that rose sharply after two recent deadly incidents blamed on the North.

North Korea fired artillery at a front-line South Korean island in November, killing four people. Forty-six sailors died when a South Korean warship sank eight months earlier. North Korea has denied firing a torpedo at the ship.

North Korea called the South Korea-U.S. drills, which begin Monday, a "dangerous military scheme."

"The army and people of (North Korea) will return bolstered nuclear deterrent of our own style for the continued nuclear threat by the aggressors," North Korea's military said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

It accused South Korea and the U.S. of plotting to topple the North's communist government. It said if provoked, North Korea would start a "full-scale" war, take "merciless counteraction" and turn Seoul into a "sea of flames."

North Korea also warned it would take "our own missile striking action" against what it called moves by the U.S. and South Korea to eliminate the North's missiles. The statement didn't elaborate.

Earlier Sunday, the North's military warned that it would destroy South Korean border towns if Seoul continues to allow activists to launch propaganda leaflets toward the communist country.

In a separate statement carried by KCNA, it accused South Korean activists and lawmakers of flying balloons carrying hundreds of thousands of leaflets and DVDs critical of North Korea's government on the North's most important national holiday, an apparent reference to leader Kim Jong Il's 69th birthday, which was Feb. 16.

It was unclear whether activists have launched more balloons since then.

A South Korean Defense Ministry official said his ministry was aware of the North's warning and was keeping a close watch on its military movements. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing ministry rules.

Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin told parliament Friday that North Korea may launch new attacks this spring and that South Korea's military is ready to cope with any hostilities.

Kim Yong-hyun, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University, said he believes any new provocation by the North is unlikely to involve human casualties because of the increased confrontation with the outside world that would result.

The joint South Korean-U.S. drills will rehearse responses to any potential emergency on the Korean peninsula.

About 12,800 U.S. troops and some 200,000 South Korean soldiers and reservists are to take part in the drills, which will last 11 days and involve computer war games, live-firing exercises and other field training, according to the U.S. and South Korean militaries.

North Korea has called the drills a preparation for an invasion, although South Korean and U.S. officials have repeatedly said they are purely defensive.

After weeks of high tension following its November bombardment of the island, North Korea pushed for dialogue with South Korea and expressed a desire to return to stalled international talks on its nuclear program.

Military officers from the two Koreas met earlier this month but failed to make progress, with both sides accusing the other of rupturing the dialogue. North Korea later threatened not to hold any more military talks with Seoul.

The two Koreas are still technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea to help deter potential aggression by the North.

Available at:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gkJrbAcVI0RCQQ_RA4wcfmkWQ4MQ?docId=c9645b4840634c21a157752266d2d479


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2.
6-Party Talks Out of Question Unless North Korea's Uranium Issue is Addressed
The Korea Times
2/26/2011
(for personal use only)


South Korea cannot agree to resume six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programs unless the illicit nature of Pyongyang's uranium enrichment is clearly defined first, a senior official said Friday.

"We have to get the (U.N.) Security Council to define the nature of this matter and take corresponding steps," the official told South Korean reporters in Washington. "The point is that the international community should define the North's UEP (uranium enrichment program) issue as a violation of Security Council resolutions that should be stopped."

North Korea revealed in November that it was running a uranium enrichment facility, adding to international concerns about its nuclear capabilities. Uranium, if highly enriched, can be used to make weapons, prodiving Pyongyang with a second way of building atomic bombs after its existing plutonium-based program.

Pyongyang has said the purpose of the facility is to produce fuel for a power-generating nuclear reactor and that the country has the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy. But few believe the claim by a regime that has pursued nuclear ambitions for decades and conducted nuclear tests twice.

South Korea and the United States have called for a tough response to the uranium program, including taking the matter to the Security Council. But China, the North's last remaining major ally with veto powers at the council, has been the biggest obstacle to the move.

Earlier this week, China blocked the Security Council from adopting an experts' report denouncing the uranium program. Beijing is concerned that such a move could aggravate tensions and insists that the issue should be discussed at six-party talks.

"Uranium enrichment is another route to nuclear weapons development, along with plutonium. Anybody would know the intentions behind uranium enrichment by North Korea, which conducted nuclear tests twice," the senior South Korean official said. "It is not the right approach to leave this issue as it is and go discuss it at six-party talks."

Unless the program's nature is defined first, six-party talks cannot make any substantial progress, even if reconvened, because the North is sure to claim at the talks that the program is for peaceful purposes, the official said.

The six-party talks, which bring together the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the U.S., have been stalled since December 2008 due to North Korea's boycott and tensions over its provocations.

Available at:
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/02/113_82124.html


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3.
US, South Korea Discuss North Korea Nuclear Program
AFP
2/25/2011
(for personal use only)


South Korea's top nuclear negotiator met Thursday with US special envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth to discuss Pyongyang's uranium enrichment program, officials said.

Envoy Wi Sung-Lac's visit came a day after the North's main ally China blocked publication of a UN report criticising the program, which was disclosed last November and could offer a new route to nuclear weapons.

Wi also held talks with Robert Einhorn, the US State Department's special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control, and with his US counterpart Sung Kim, according to a spokesman.

State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said Wi would hold talks Friday with Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Kurt Campbell.

Wi said his trip would focus on how to cope with the uranium program at the UN Security Council ahead of resuming long-stalled six-party talks on the North's nuclear disarmament.

"We are not seeking a Security Council resolution, but we are still trying hard so the Security Council could properly address the uranium issue," he was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.

"Our position is that the uranium issue should be dealt with at the Security Council or any other fora before we move to the six-party talks."

The panel report blocked by China calls for tougher implementation of sanctions and outlines the progress the North has made on uranium enrichment, according to diplomats.

It describes the enrichment as a new violation of sanctions imposed following atomic tests in 2006 and 2009.

China has been trying to revive the six-party talks, which include Russia, the United States, Japan and the two Koreas, and were last held in December 2008. Beijing has said the uranium program should be handled in that forum.

Available at:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jvDg56z8pjJoB5xshK7lNiY-Ofdg?docId=CNG.b8be1fa9ceeaf77e3700b0e75ec87ead.e51


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C.  Nuclear Cooperation

1.
South Korea Not Mulling Return of U.S. Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Government
Yonhap News Agency
2/28/2011
(for personal use only)


South Korea has no plan to seek the return of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to the peninsula, as Seoul remains committed to a 1991 denuclearization deal with Pyongyang, government officials said Monday.

"Our government is not considering a way to request that the U.S. redeploy its tactical nuclear weapons," a senior official at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said on the condition of anonymity. "The joint declaration for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula remains valid."

He was reponding to a news report that Gary Samore, the White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction, proliferation and terrorism, said that Washington would agree to the idea of redeploying tactical nuclear weapons if South Korea made an official request.

But Samore was quoted as adding that his comments represented nothing more than his personal view of the situation.

In a press briefing, Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung refused to comment on Samore's reported remarks.

"I am not in a position to reveal our country's position on a personal opinion by an official of a foreign nation," she said.

Asked if the inter-Korean denuclearization agreement remains valid, Kim said, "There has been no change in the principle."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Byung-jae also said in a separate press briefing, "The (South Korean) government already expressed its position with regard to the issue of redeploying tactical nuclear weapons in the early 1990s and there is no change in it."

The subject of bringing U.S. tactical nuclear weapons, relatively easy to carry and use, back to South Korea has long been something of a taboo here, as Seoul has tried to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program and improve bilateral relations.

The U.S. withdrew its tactical nuclear weapons in 1991 from the South as part of its disarmament initiative. The two Koreas then signed a landmark deal not to pursue any tests, production, possession, entry, deployment and use of nuclear weapons.

Some conservative South Korean lawmakers are calling for the redeployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons here amid North Korea's continued threats and provocations.

The North conducted two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, respectively. After recently demanding talks with the U.S., Pyongyang reportedly warned of the possibility of a "nuclear disaster" on the peninsula.

Available at:
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2011/02/28/62/0401000000AEN20110228007400315F.HTML


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2.
Cambodia Not Ready to Build Chemical or Nuclear Weapons
Xinhua News Agency
2/25/2011
(for personal use only)


Cambodian government reaffirmed Friday that it has banned all kinds of production of chemical and nuclear weapons which is contradictory to international treaty.

In a press statement released after a weekly cabinet meeting, it said a sub-decree with four articles was approved Friday during the meeting at which it is designed to examine the chemical substance which is potential for the production of chemical and nuclear weapons.

The sub-decree regulates the control, management and collection of data on the need of any use of chemical substance which is required by the international convention.

The sub-decree was approved as correlation to the country's constitution.

Cambodia's Constitution, article 54, says that "The manufacturing, use, storage of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons shall be absolutely prohibited."

Cambodia is a signatory and a party to many international conventions and treaties, including the Ottawa Treaty which deals with landmines.

Available at:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-02/25/c_13750480.htm


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D.  Nuclear Energy

1.
German Opposition to Challenge Nuclear Law, Sueddeutsche Says
Patrick Donahue
Bloomberg
2/26/2011
(for personal use only)


Germany’s opposition plans to file a legal challenge to last year’s government extension of nuclear power plant operating lifetimes, Seuddeutsche Zeitung said.

The challenge, to be brought by the Social Democratic Party and the Green Party, disputes Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to bypass the upper house of parliament, or Bundesrat, the newspaper said. The objection will be filed with the Federal Constitutional Court on Feb. 28, according to the report.

Changes in the nuclear extension, which the opposition says are unconstitutional, should have been approved by Germany’s 16 state governments, the challenge cited by the newspaper asserts. The German states, which finance security measures for the nuclear plans, are represented in the upper chamber.

Merkel’s coalition last October passed legislation that permits nuclear plants to run for as many as 14 years longer, extending an exit from nuclear power that was a cornerstone of her predecessor, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. The extension fulfilled a pledge made during her 2009 re-election campaign that was a core element of her energy platform.

Available at:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-26/german-opposition-to-challenge-nuclear-law-sueddeutsche-says.html


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2.
Jaitapur Nuclear Project: Chavan Says Locals Being Misled
Outlook India
2/26/2011
(for personal use only)


Protests greeted Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today during his visit to the proposed Jaitapur nuclear project site, with local people opposing the 9,900 MW power plant.

Chavan accused "certain" political parties and outsiders of conducting false propaganda and misleading the locals about the project, coming up in the coastal Ratnagiri district.

He was greeted by slogan-shouting women from Sakhrinate village during his interaction with people. The local outfits like Janhit Seva Samitee from Madban village, and the fishermen from Sakrinate village asked the Chief Minister to scrap the project.

Before the Chief Minister arrived, police asked activist Vaishali Patil of Konkan Vinashkari Prakalpa Vidrohi Samiti to leave the place. They also asked those gathered to remove the black badges they were wearing.

Addressing the locals at Karel village near here, Chavan said there was no basis to the objections raised by local outfits like Janhit Seva Samiti.

Chavan said there were several nuclear reactors in other coastal regions of the country and marine bio-diversity there had not been harmed.

He said it was not right to think that a Chief Minister would ever bring a project which would harm the local environment and put safety, welfare of people at risk.

Without naming anybody, he alleged "foreign powers" were not interested in India's progress and development.

Chavan, who was on two-day visit to Konkan region, visited the plant site and met residents of Madban, Sakhrinate and other nearby villages who are opposing the project. He said the locals were being misled.

"I am not a nuclear expert but (I am) an engineer. I have studied this project carefully during my six years as minister in the PMO. I definitely know much more than people present here," the Chief Minister said.

He said he was ready to discuss "point by point" the objections of the locals, which, he said, were a result of false propaganda.

"Actually, there is no need for it. But, it is the greatness of our democracy that I came here to hear your objections," he said.

He criticised Janhit Seva Samiti's leader Pravin Gavankar for justifying the boycott of the "open house' held in Mumbai last month.

"Such people are afraid of facing the truth and the locals should understand where their interests and welfare lie," he said and told the locals that they were prevented from coming to the open house by people with vested political interests.

He expressed surprise at the Janhit Seva Samiti demanding coal-based power plants instead of nuclear energy. "It is well known that coal-based plants are polluting," he said.

Chavan said in the next 20 years, India has to enhance its power generation capacity from 1,07,000 MW to 6 lakh MW. China's current capacity is 7 lakh MW which will be 9 lakh MW in the next five years, he pointed out.

Available at:
http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?713222


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3.
Russia to Build Bangladesh's First Nuclear Plant
Farid Hossain
Business Week
2/25/2011
(for personal use only)


Russia has agreed to build energy-starved Bangladesh's first nuclear power plant, the government said Friday.

Bangladesh's Ministry of Science said officials from the two countries signed an agreement in Dhaka late Thursday for the $1.5 billion plant.

Russia will supply two reactors capable of generating a total of 2,000 megawatts of electricity for the plant, which is to be built by 2018, the ministry said. It will also supply fuel for the plant and take back the spent fuel, it said.

Russia also will train workers to run the plant, to be built in Rooppur, 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Dhaka.

Relations between the two countries have been close since Russia backed Bangladesh in its 1971 war of independence with Pakistan.

Bangladesh's decades-old gas-fired power plants are unable to generate enough electricity for the country's 150 million people, with a daily shortfall of about 2,000 megawatts. Businesses complain that the shortages interfere with production.

The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank say Bangladesh's economy, which has grown by more than 5 percent in recent years, will suffer if more electricity is not generated to support industries and agriculture.

The country also is looking at options to switch to coal-fired power plants. It has six coal fields with about 3.3 billion tons of estimated reserves.

Available at:
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9LJNS980.htm


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E.  Links of Interest

1.
Kim Jong II's Nuclear Resolve
Jack David and Melanie Kirkpatrick
The Wall Street Journal
2/28/2011
(for personal use only)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703933404576169720332268988.ht..


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2.
South Korea, U.S. Brush Off North Threat, Begin Big Drills
Jack Kim
Reuters
2/28/2011
(for personal use only)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/28/us-korea-north-idUSTRE71R2AH201102..


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3.
Report Says Iran in Secret Uranium Talks with Zimbabwe
The Zimbabwean
2/26/2011
(for personal use only)
http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=..


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