The International Atomic Energy Agency Monday said Iran is still refusing to submit to international oversight of its nuclear program
"Full implementation by Iran of its binding obligations is needed to establish international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told the Board of Governors in Vienna.
Iranian leaders have insisted repeatedly their nuclear program is strictly for peaceful energy production purposes but have raised international concern by concealing their activities for 18 years in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Iran "is not providing the necessary cooperation to enable the agency to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities," Amano said. "I request Iran to take steps towards the full implementation of its safeguards agreement and its other obligations."
Available at: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2011/03/07/IAEA-Iran-not-cooperating-on-nuke-issues/UPI-96691299532406/
2. UN Atomic Agency Has Doubts Over Iran's Nuclear Drive
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The UN atomic watchdog said Monday it had information that Iran may have been engaged in weaponisation studies more recently than previously thought.
Nevertheless, Tehran was continuing to refuse to answer any questions on the issue, effectively blocking a long-running investigation into the matter, the watchdog's chief Yuikya Amano said.
In its latest report on Iran's controversial nuclear drive, the International Atomic Energy Agency recently revealed that it had received new information about possible military dimensions to Tehran's atomic activities.
The IAEA has been investigating Iran's nuclear programme for eight years, but has so far been unable to establish whether it is entirely peaceful as Iran claims or masks a covert drive to build a bomb as Western powers believe.
The 12-page report, circulated to IAEA member states at the end of last month, did not elaborate further about the nature of the new information.
But Amano was quizzed about it at a news conference on the first day of the traditional spring meeting of the IAEA's 35-member board of governors here.
He said the data appeared to suggest that the weaponisation work may have gone on more recently than previously thought.
"Unfortunately, I cannot say a lot on this issue. But I can tell you that we have received information" since the last board meeting in December, Amano said.
"In general terms, we have been collecting information from various sources at various times. Since the previous board in December, we have received some information raising further concerns."
When asked whether the information concerned possible weaponisation work beyond 2004, Amano replied: "I cannot specifically say up to when. But we can say there is some information that indicate the existence of activities beyond 2004."
The Japanese diplomat insisted the IAEA was not saying that Iran still had an active nuclear weapons programme.
"We have concerns and we want to clarify the matter," he said.
But Iran was refusing to answer any questions about the allegations, Amano complained.
"We would like to interact with Iran on the clarification of the issues with possible military dimensions. But unfortunately Iran has not engaged with us recently. Therefore, we could not interact with Iran on these issues," he said.
"Unfortunately, since I came into office, Iran has not engaged with us in the clarification of issues that might have military dimensions. Therefore there has not been progress."
Among the many unresolved issues about Iran's atomic drive are allegations that the Islamic republic was involved in weaponisation studies -- work which included uranium conversion, high explosives testing and the adaptation of a ballistic missile cone to carry a nuclear warhead.
Iran has dismissed the evidence as "fabricated" and refused to discuss the so-called "alleged studies" any further.
The other main issue on the agenda of the closed-door meeting, which was scheduled to last all week, were allegations that Syria had been building an undeclared nuclear reactor at a remote desert site called Dair Alzour until it was destroyed by Israeli planes in September 2007.
Syria granted UN inspectors one-off access to the site in June 2008 but no follow-up visits to either Dair Alzour or other possible related sites since then.
In a sign of his growing impatience with Damascus, Amano sent a letter to Syria's foreign ministry on November 18 asking the government to provide the IAEA with prompt access to relevant information and locations" connected to Dair Alzour.
In response, Damascus has agreed to a new visit by IAEA inspectors, not of Dair Alzour, however, but of a less significant site at Homs in the west of the country, which is not one of the sites viewed as suspect by inspectors.
The visit will take place on April 1.
Amano told reporters that the visit "does not solve all the problems, of course."
But, depending on what inspectors found at Homs, "this could be a step forward in my view," Amano said.
Available at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g7NZufttadNIH041Eak2Su5iCi8A?docId=CNG.93280b7ec50a265e547c3fbb555a7bba.bd1
Following Russia's repeated delays in launching Iran's first nuclear reactor, an Iranian lawmaker warns that Tehran will take legal action against Moscow through international bodies.
“If Russia continues to delay the inauguration of Bushehr nuclear power plant, the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) will definitely table a motion to demand compensation from Moscow,” said the deputy head of the Majlis Energy Commission, Abdollah Kaabi, on Saturday.
Although Russia has received 1.5 times more payment from Iran than the initial agreement provided, Moscow's failure to fulfill its commitment in completing the launch of Bushehr nuclear power plant has made the Energy Commission to take up the issue, Majlis news agency (ICANA) quoted Kaabi as saying.
Iran signed a deal with Russia in 1995, under which the plant was originally scheduled for completion in 1999. However, the project was repeatedly delayed by the Russian side due to intense pressures exerted by the United States and its Western allies against the move.
The Iranian lawmaker further pointed out that Russia has always been “unreliable partners in the course of history” and reiterated, “In case of Russia's procrastination with regard to the Bushehr nuclear power plant project, Majlis will put a plan on its agenda to seek compensation.”
He underlined that the Iranian Parliament will also oblige the government to “follow up the rights of the Iranian nation through international legal channels.”
Kaabi further noted that Russia has made “unacceptable” delays in the project and imposed heavy costs on Iran.
The remarks came after Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Tuesday denied reports that fuel has been removed from the core of the reactor at Bushehr nuclear power plant in the southern Iranian port city of Bushehr, saying operations at the facility "are running their normal course."
He expressed hope that Russia would be able to implement the project as planned so that the Bushehr facility will join the national grid as scheduled.
Mehmanparast made the remarks after Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh announced the fuel loaded into the Bushehr nuclear reactor would be temporarily removed to run a number of tests.
“Upon Russia's request, fuel will be removed from the core of the reactor in order to carry out a number of tests and technical work,” he said.
He also explained that Russia is responsible for completing the Bushehr power plant in accordance with the highest safety standards.
On October 26, Iran started injecting fuel into the core of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, constituting the initial phase in launching the country's first nuclear reactor.
Later on November 27, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said the fueling of the power plant has been completed, adding that all fuel assemblies have been loaded into the core of the reactor.
The facility operates under the IAEA supervision.
Available at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/168439.html
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says Tehran advocates adopting a convention prohibiting the production and development of nuclear weapons.
“We are seeking the adoption of a nuclear weapons convention (NWC) similar to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC),” Salehi told IRNA on Saturday.
“Such a convention would guarantee that states would not take a step toward the production of nuclear weapons and it can also compel nuclear armed countries to disarm.”
Salehi underlined the need for the adoption of such a convention, adding that there was no practical method available to force nuclear armed countries to disarm despite the Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) calling for global action on denuclearization.
The Article Six of the NPT states that “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
The top Iranian diplomat said that efforts to reach global denuclearization had failed as the world's nuclear armed countries were all permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and had power to make decisions on a wide range of global issues.
A nuclear weapons convention is a proposed international treaty that would prohibit the development, testing, production, stockpiling, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons. It also seeks to eliminate such weapons.
In December 2007, a Model Nuclear Weapons Convention was submitted to the United Nations General Assembly by Costa Rica and Malaysia in order to assist deliberations that would lead to the conclusion of such a treaty.
It is an updated version of a similar convention submitted to the United Nations in 1997.
The convention is yet to be adopted as France, Russia, the UK and the US, all among the five permanent members of the UNSC, oppose such a convention.
Available at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/168281.html
1. China Urges Early Resumption of North Korea Nuke Talks
Yonhap News Agency
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China called Monday for an early resumption of the deadlocked multilateral talks aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear program, saying it is necessary to resolve the complicated situation in the region.
The six-party talks have been stalled for more than two years over the North's missile and nuclear tests and other provocations. The talks involve the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia.
"Relevant parties should seize opportunities to resume the talks as soon as possible and to find solutions via dialogue and consultation," Yang Jiechi, China's foreign minister, said at a telecast press conference during the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.
His remarks come as the United States has urged China to join the international community to condemn North Korea for its uranium enrichment program, which can serve as a second method of producing nuclear weapons.
Robert Einhorn, the U.S. State Department's special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control, said last week that Seoul and Washington will seek a U.N. Security Council presidential statement to condemn the North's uranium program before moving on to six-party talks.
In November, North Korea disclosed a uranium enrichment plant that could be used to make nuclear weapons apart from its plutonium program, claiming its intention is to generate electricity.
China, North Korea's staunchest ally and largest economic benefactor, opposes the Security Council dealing with the uranium program, citing a lack of concrete evidence and its possible adverse impact on an early resumption of the nuclear talks.
"China has been actively supporting bilateral contacts and dialogue among relevant parties," Yang said.
"As long as relevant parties maintain confidence and give full play to their wisdom, denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and long-term security in Northeast Asia can finally be achieved."
Inter-Korean military talks broke down last month as the North balked at Seoul's demand for an apology for last year's provocations, thwarting the mood for the revival of the multilateral nuclear talks.
North Korea carried out a series of provocations last year, including the sinking of a South Korean warship and the shelling of a border island that killed a total of 50 people.
During the press conference, Yang added that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will visit South Korea and Japan in May to meet their leaders. Experts expect Wen to discuss the North Korean issues with his counterparts.
Available at: http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2011/03/07/83/0401000000AEN20110307009100320F.HTML
2. IAEA Seeks Further North Korea Nuclear Inspections
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UN atomic watchdog chief Yukiya Amano urged North Korea Monday to allow its inspectors back into its nuclear facilities.
"I believe that last year's reports about the construction of a new uranium enrichment facility and a light water reactor in the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) underline how important it is that the agency should be present in the DPRK," Amano told the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors.
"I wish to stress that the agency has an essential role to play in verifying the DPRK's nuclear programme." And he urged Pyongyang to "fully implement all of the resolutions of the (IAEA) general conference and the (UN) Security Council."
Last year, a US scientist revealed he had been shown a new uranium enrichment plant at the Yongbyon nuclear complex outside the North Korean capital Pyongyang.
The news heightened international concern that the reclusive Stalinist state -- which has conducted two nuclear weapons tests -- could produce highly-enriched weapons-grade uranium on top of the plutonium already in its possession.
The IAEA has not been able to verify the reports since its inspectors were barred from North Korea in 2009.
North Korea's nuclear programme "remains a matter of serious concern for the North-East Asia region and beyond," Amano said Monday.
Available at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hUS291AxVl_YTci5ZIkyBHPIk8Hw?docId=CNG.93280b7ec50a265e547c3fbb555a7bba.6f1
The new chief nuclear negotiator of Japan exchanged views about North Korea with Park Suk-hwan, 1st vice foreign minister on the first day of his three-day visit to Seoul, Monday.
After arriving here, director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and oceanic Affairs Bureau Shinsuke Sugiyama had lunch with several officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT). He met Park after the luncheon.
The Japanese envoy is scheduled to meet his South Korean counterpart Wi Sung-lac today to discuss ways to handle North Korea’s uranium enrichment program and touch upon other issues related to reopening the stalled six-party talks.
Earlier, Washington and Seoul agreed to push for a U.N. Security Council (UNSC) presidential statement over the uranium program.
Despite the agreement, it will be an uphill battle for the two to see the adoption of the statement, because China, a permanent UNSC member, is opposed to any moves condemning North Korea for the uranium program.
Meanwhile, MOFAT officials said Sugiyama’s Seoul visit has more to do with meeting his counterpart of the nuclear talks to get to know more about senior foreign affairs ministry officials than close policy coordination on particular agendas.
Sugiyama assumed the position in early January, replacing his predecessor Akitaka Saiki.
His visit coincided with the resignation of Japanese foreign minister Seiji Maehara.
The former top diplomat of Japan quit last week after admitting he had received approximately $3,000 from an ethnic South Korean living in Japan.
The three foreign ministers of South Korea, Japan and China are scheduled to hold the trilateral talks on March 19 in Japan.
Asked if Maehara’s resignation could affect the schedule of the trilateral meeting, MOFAT spokesman Cho Byong-jae told reporters that Seoul was waiting for a response from Japan regarding the matter.
Sugiyama’s Seoul visit is his first after being appointed director general. He will return to Tokyo Wednesday.
Available at: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/03/116_82630.html
4. North Korea Developing Weapons to Neutralize U.S. Military Dominance: Gates
The Korea Times
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North Korea, China and Iran are developing weapons to neutralize the global military dominance the U.S. has enjoyed since the end of the Cold War, the chief U.S. defense official said Friday.
"One of the ways that spectrum will broaden is with the emergence of high-end asymmetric threats," Defense Secretary Robert Gates told cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, according to a transcript released by the Pentagon.
"Indeed, looking at capabilities that China and others are developing -- long-range precision weapons, including anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles; quieter submarines; advanced air defensive missiles -- and what the Iranians and North Koreans are up to, they appear designed to neutralize the advantages the U.S. military has enjoyed since the end of the Cold War: unfettered freedom of movement and the ability to project power to any region across the globe by surging aircraft, ships, troops and supplies," he said.
Gates said in January that North Korea's missiles and nuclear weapons will pose a threat to the U.S. within five years.
Reports said that North Korea is digging a tunnel to prepare for a third nuclear test and has completed construction of a sophisticated launch site on its western coast to test-fire a ballistic missile that can reach the mainland U.S.
North Korea detonated nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009, and conducted long-range missile tests three times -- in 1998, 2006 and 2009 -- which were seen as a partial success.
The North is believed to have at least several nuclear weapons, with some experts saying it may have already developed nuclear warheads small enough for missile payloads.
Pyongyang in November disclosed a uranium enrichment plant that could be used to make nuclear weapons apart from its plutonium program. The North claims its intention is to generate electricity.
China, North Korea's staunchest communist ally, opposed condemning the uranium program, citing a lack of concrete evidence and its possible adverse impact on an early resumption of the six-party talks.
The talks, involving the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia, have been deadlocked for more than two years over the North's missile and nuclear tests and attacks on a South Korean island and warship that killed 50 people last year.
Available at: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/03/113_82523.html
5. China Says Preconditions Should Not Be Set for North Korean Nuclear Talks
Yonhap News Agency
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China does not support setting preconditions for restarting the stalled multilateral talks aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear program, a senior Chinese diplomat said Friday, stressing the talks should be started as soon as possible.
"Some propose U.S.-North Korea talks first, some propose South Korea-North Korea talks first (before restarting the talks), and we support all those proposals," Wu Dawei, China's chief envoy on North Korean issues, said in an interview with the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
"We do not want to see any party set preconditions for restarting the talks."
His remarks came after the United States urged China to join the international community to condemn North Korea for its uranium enrichment program, which can serve as a second way of producing nuclear weapons.
Robert Einhorn, the U.S. State Department's special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control, said in South Korea's capital on Wednesday that Seoul and Washington will seek a U.N. Security Council presidential statement to condemn the North's uranium program before moving on to six-party talks, which involve two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia.
In November, North Korea disclosed a uranium enrichment plant that could be used to make nuclear weapons apart from its plutonium program. The regime claims its intention is to generate electricity.
China, North Korea's staunchest communist ally, opposes the Security Council dealing with the uranium program, citing a lack of concrete evidence and its possible adverse impact on an early resumption of the nuclear talks.
"The resumption of the six-party talks is facing many difficulties. We hope those difficulties can be overcome at an early date," Wu said.
The six-party talks on ending the North's nuclear ambitions have been deadlocked for more than two years over the North's missile and nuclear tests and other provocations.
Inter-Korean military talks broke down last month as the North balked at Seoul's demand for an apology for last year's provocations, thwarting the reconciliatory mood for the revival of the multilateral nuclear talks.
North Korea has made a series of provocations in the last year, including the sinking of a South Korean warship and the shelling of a border island that killed a combined 50 people.
The Chinese nuclear envoy said China takes a positive and tolerant attitude toward the talks' resumption and is against the current stagnation.
Available at: http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2011/03/04/91/0401000000AEN20110304010700320F.HTML
South Korea and the United States , have wrapped up their second round of talks on revising a "nuclear cooperation agreement" set to expire in 2014.
Special advisor to The US State Department, Robert Einhorn, met his South Korean counterpart, Cho Hyun, in Seoul. The two sides discussed the basic framework for the new pact as well as ways to enhance industrial and commercial cooperation in the nuclear power sector.
More discussions are planned for later this year Seoul is demanding revisions to the agreement, which was signed in 1974. South Korea's storage facilities for spent-fuel from nuclear power plants , are expected to reach capacity in 2016.
Available at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/video/2011-03/05/c_13762649.htm
2. Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute Launched
Nuclear Engineering International
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The US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the US State Department have announced the creation of a new Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute (GNEII) at the Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research in Abu Dhabi. The Institute will strengthen nuclear energy security, safeguards, and safety infrastructure development throughout the Persian Gulf.
The announcement comes after US President Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget request, which includes $53 million to support nuclear safeguards and security and the development of infrastructure, like GNEII, to sustain and strengthen the international safeguards system.
"Creating strong international partnerships that promote a culture of safety, security and safeguards and provide future decision-makers with expert training in nonproliferation is an important part of implementing the President's nuclear security agenda,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington.
NNSA, along with the U.S. Department of State, Sandia National Laboratories, Texas A&M University, Khalifa University, and local partners in the United Arab Emirates launched GNEII in response to the Gulf region’s growing interest and investment in nuclear power.
The United States and United Arab Emirates formalized this initiative by signing a letter of intent on March 17, 2010, to develop the GNEII curriculum, training facilities, and plans for achieving self-sufficiency within five years.
GNEII initially will be open to participants from three Emirati nuclear-related organizations but will expand to the other five Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia) next year. It will provide both classroom instruction and hands-on experience to strengthen regional nuclear energy security, safeguards, and safety infrastructure.
GNEII was developed with NNSA’s Office of Nonproliferation and International Security (NIS) which works to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by strengthening the nonproliferation, nuclear security and arms control regimes. NIS provides leadership in the formulation and implementation of U.S. nonproliferation, nuclear security, and arms control strategies. NIS draws on and contributes to a wide range of technical resources within the U.S. National Laboratory complex, working in concert with international organizations and more than 70 countries.
President Obama requested $161.8 million for NNSA’s Office of Nonproliferation and International Security, an increase of 3.8 percent over the FY 2011 budget request.
Available at: http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?sectionCode=132&storyCode=2059055
Lady Barbara Judge, a prominent member of the international board that advises the UAE on nuclear development, is happy with the way the Arab world's first civilian nuclear programme is shaping up.
"The UAE understands that the key is to bring in the best people, give them the best facilities and a high degree of autonomy," Lady Judge said yesterday after a lecture to female students at Zayed University in the capital.
"Abu Dhabi has the gold standard of nuclear projects," she told a student who asked about security. "It is peaceful, transparent and will be a model for the rest of the world. The nuclear industry is the safest in the world, and it is only getting safer."
The unstable political situation in parts of the Mena region would not derail the UAE programme, Lady Judge predicted.
A proponent of nuclear development as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while increasing energy security for many countries, she also praised Abu Dhabi's plans to broaden its energy mix to include other low-carbon power developments including solar power. If the emirate succeeded in developing a balanced mix of nuclear, gas-fired and renewable power to satisfy its burgeoning domestic electricity demand, it would be the envy of the world, she said.
Due to its rapid industrial expansion, domestic power consumption in the UAE is projected to grow at an annual rate of 9 per cent per year between now and 2020, or about three times the world average, Lady Judge said.
The former chairwoman of the UK Atomic Energy Authoritysaid she hoped for more British involvement in UAE nuclear development.
"The UK has a lot of experience and would be honoured to be able to contribute to the building and operation of this outstanding programme," Lady Judge said.
Available at: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/uae-nuclear-programme-applauded
2. Bulgaria Mulls Installing Reactor Meant for Belene at Kozloduy
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Bulgaria is considering installing a reactor intended for the delayed Belene project at the Kozloduy plant, Energy and Economy Minister Traicho Traikov said.
Kozloduy, Bulgaria’s only atomic power plant, has two Russian-made 1,000-megawatt reactors, which supply 38 percent of the nation’s needs. The government is considering building one or two new reactors at Kozloduy, on the Danube. The country is negotiating with Russia’s Rosatom Corp. on the cost of a stalled project to build a second 2,000-megawatt plant at Belene, also on the Danube.
“It’s worth considering an option where the equipment produced for the Belene project is installed on the site of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant,” Traikov said in an e-mailed statement today. “Thus we’ll have one new reactor at Kozloduy and the whole plant will be Russian-built. Then we can seek a different solution for Belene.”
Atomstroyexport ZAO, a unit of Rosatom, won a contract to build the two-reactor Belene plant for 4 billion euros ($5.6 billion) in 2005 with Areva SA and Siemens AG as subcontractors. It has since increased the price to 6.4 billion euros because of delayed construction. Bulgaria estimates the cost at about 5 billion euros.
Bulgaria has already paid some 215 million euros toward the cost of one of the Belene reactors, which has been built in Russia. Bulgaria is in talks with several international investors to raise funds for the completion of the Belene plant, though disagreement over the price may lead the government to modify its plans, Traikov said.
Construction of the Danube plant has stalled since Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s government came to power 20 months ago and refused to provide state funding, which prompted RWE AG. Germany’s second-largest utility, to withdraw in 2009.
Available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-07/bulgaria-mulls-installing-reactor-meant-for-belene-at-kozloduy.html
3. Chinese Nuclear Firm Eyes $1.23 Billion Kalahari Bid
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Kalahari Minerals is in talks about a possible 756 million pound ($1.23 billion) offer from a Chinese state-owned nuclear power producer seeking new sources of uranium.
London-listed Kalahari, which holds around 43 percent of Extract Resources, said on Monday a unit of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corporation (CGNPC) had proposed a possible offer of 290 pence per share.
Although both companies said there was no certainty CGNPC would make a formal offer, Kalahari said it would recommend to its shareholders a formal offer, if made on the proposed terms.
CGNPC's possible offer represented an 11 percent premium to Kalahari's closing price on Friday. "The Kalahari board believes this represents attractive value for Kalahari shareholders," its executive chairman Mark Hohnen said.
Kalahari closed up 9.5 percent at 284.6 pence, after a high at 293.5 pence.
Kalahari also said it was also in talks to simplify its shareholder structure with Extract, in a bid to combine assets with Rio Tinto in Namibia.
The company wants to combine Extract's Husab Uranium Project with the neighboring Rossing Uranium mine owned by Rio Tinto.
Kalahari said CGNPC has established strong relationships with domestic and overseas manufacturers and suppliers of natural uranium.
"The Kalahari board believes this preeminent position in the uranium sector makes CGNPC a suitable partner for the realization of the full potential of the Husab Uranium Project to the benefit of all stakeholders," Hohnen said.
Extract's chairman had told Reuters in February the company had no intention of selling its Husab uranium deposit, the largest of its kind in the world.
Analysts have long said Extract could be an eventual target for Rio, whose Rossing mine is near Extract's Husab deposit.
Speculation was renewed last month week when the two companies said they were in talks to combine their uranium projects.
Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/07/us-kalahariminerals-idUSTRE7264Y820110307
4. JNRC Steps Up Efforts as Nuclear Programme Gains Steam
The Jordan Times
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The Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission (JNRC) is ramping up regulation procedures in order to keep pace with the Kingdom's peaceful nuclear power programme as it approaches several milestones.
The commission is enacting a five-year strategy in order to perform its watchdog role to ensure safety and proper licensing of various nuclear activities in the country, according to JNRC Director Jamal Sharaf.
In the next few months, the commission is set to license the operation of the country's first nuclear facility, the recently constructed sub-critical assembly at the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), he said.
During a press meeting last Thursday, Sharaf said the commission is also setting licensing standards and reviewing studies for the site of the Kingdom's first nuclear research reactor to be established at JUST.
Currently being constructed by a South Korean consortium, the five megawatt research reactor is expected to be completed in 2015.
In order to set safety standards in place ahead of the establishment of the country's first uranium mine in the central region, the JNRC is currently drafting regulations for the extraction and transportation of uranium, he added.
The JNRC, in cooperation with Worley Parsons and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is also drawing up guidelines for the decommission of nuclear facilities, management of spent fuel and an emergency response system, ahead of the construction of the Kingdom's first nuclear reactor.
In addition, the commission is set to enter a training agreement with South Korea, under which 20 JNRC staff members will receive hands-on experience in safety standards and inspections, according to Sharaf.
Also as part of its strategy, JNRC cadres are currently measuring natural radiation levels across the country, a two-year project that aims to provide the commission with baseline data prior to the commencement of uranium mining and the establishment of the nuclear research reactor.
Available at: http://www.jordantimes.com/?news=35195
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