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Nuclear News - 9/1/2011
PGS Nuclear News, September 1, 2011
Compiled By: Michael Kennedy


A.  North Korea
    1. Unification Chief-To-Be Could Be a Game-Changer, Christine Kim, Joong Ang Daily (9/1/2011)
B.  Iran
    1. Sarkozy Says Iran Nuclear Bid Could Provoke Preemptive Military Action, Al Arabiya News Channel (8/31/2011)
    2. Few Answers in Murders of Iranian Nuclear Scientists, Jonathan Manthorpe, The Vancouver Sun  (8/31/2011)
C.  Nuclear Energy
    1. Chinese 'Coy' in Talks on Importing Uranium, Mark Schliebs, The Australian (8/31/2011)
    2. Gov't Reexamining Nuclear Power Plant, Lior Gutman, Ynet News (8/30/2011)
D.  Nuclear Safety & Security
    1. Extreme Soil Contamination Detected Near Fukushima Plant, Asahi (8/31/2011)
    2. Govt Approves N-Safety Bill, Deccan Herald  (8/31/2011)
E.  Nuclear Cooperation
    1. IAEA Chief to Meet Arab Envoys to Lobby For Mideast Forum, Kuwait News Agency (8/31/2011)
    2. US, Australia 'Schemed Against IAEA Chief', Agence France-Presse (8/31/2011)
    3. Vietnam Has 'Absolute Confidence' in Japan Nuke Technology: Ambassador, The Mainichi Daily News (8/31/2011)
    4. Japan-Vietnam Nuclear Tech Talks to Restart in September, The Mainichi Daily News (8/30/2011)
F.  Nuclear Industry
    1. Nuclear Industry's Growth to Slow, Liu Yiyu, China Daily (8/31/2011)
    2. Vote on KC Weapons Plant is Still Uncertain, Mike Hendricks, Kansas City Star (8/30/2011)
G.  Links of Interest
    1. Nuclear Politics, Manpreet Sethi, The Diplomat (8/31/2011)
    2. Joint Efforts Needed on Replacing Nuclear Power, Jean Asselborn, Asahi (8/31/2011)
    3. Accepting Reality: Living With a Nuclear North Korea, Ted Galen Carpenter, The National Interest (8/30/2011)



A.  North Korea

1.
Unification Chief-To-Be Could Be a Game-Changer
Christine Kim
Joong Ang Daily
9/1/2011
(for personal use only)


Yu Woo-ik, named to become the new minister of unification, has some cards up his sleeve that could kick-start stalled inter-Korean relations and alter the hard-line stance Seoul has maintained since the start of the Lee Myung-bak administration.

“I am thinking of maintaining consistency in the government’s policies for North Korea,” Yu told reporters yesterday. “However, I will also see whether there are any areas that need to be made more flexible in order for real development to occur.”

Yu called a brief press conference yesterday at the Ministry of Unification’s inter-Korean dialogue office in Samcheong-dong, central Seoul.

“I have been given a vital task at this difficult time,” said Yu of his appointment, which still has to go through a confirmation hearing at the National Assembly. “It is a historic mission and a heavy responsibility handed to me.”

The minister-designate also hinted approval of recent developments on a long-stalled idea to build a pipeline from Russia to South Korea via North Korea.

“If the infrastructure [project] that is to connect North and South Korea brings about good to everyone, then I believe it is necessary,” Yu remarked on the pipeline.

He refused to say more on the subject, promising to “gather more knowledge” for his confirmation hearing.

Yu also emphasized the importance of North and South Korea going forward together in the global economy.

Government officials related to foreign and inter-Korean affairs have remarked since Monday’s reshuffle of the cabinet that Yu will play a pivotal role in the remaining months of the Lee administration. Yu is expected to have significant influence on the Blue House because he was Lee’s aide before he became South Korean ambassador to China, where he also vowed to help inter-Korean relations.

Yu had told reporters he would do his best to “move the two Koreas forward” when he took his job in Beijing in December 2009.

He has since emphasized the importance of North Korea abandoning its nuclear weapons program and urged the reclusive state to open up.

“If North Korea gives up its provocations and nuclear developments and rises to reform and open itself, the size of cooperation from the South could be bigger than before,” said Yu to students after a lecture at Jilin University in Changchun, China, in July 2010. “Reformation and opening up are the only ways that North Korea can develop.”

The minister-designate is also not expected to be a push-over when it comes to demands from the North, after the tough line he showed after the sinking of the Cheonan warship in March 2010, which Seoul blames on Pyongyang.

Yu said during a lecture at Seoul National University in April 2010 that he had “shaken in sadness and anger” while writing lecture notes on reconciliation of North and South Korea after the Cheonan sinking. This attitude was reiterated during a visit to a Navy base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonnggi, last February.

“The sinking of the Cheonan is not a finished case, preserved in a museum, but one that is ongoing,” he said.

Once he passes a confirmation hearing at the National Assembly, which is expected to be held after Sept. 15, Yu is expected to be at center stage of any changes between the two Koreas.

“Even now there are movements under the surface involving North-South affairs,” said a government official who asked not to be named because of the matter’s sensitivity. “There is a chance North Korea may change. With the possibility of North Korea changing and with Yu’s role, there may be a great shift in inter-Korean relations.”

Available at: http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2940998


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B.  Iran

1.
Few Answers in Murders of Iranian Nuclear Scientists
Jonathan Manthorpe
The Vancouver Sun
8/31/2011
(for personal use only)


Someone is going to murderous lengths to disrupt Iran's nuclear development program.

But the conviction and sentencing to death this week of a young Iranian, Majid Jamali Fashi, after he confessed to having been recruited by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad to kill an Iranian scientist, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, sheds little clear light on what is going on.

In a confession first broadcast in Iran in January, Fashi told how he had been recruited by Israeli agents in Turkey, had meetings with his handlers in Bangkok and was finally smuggled into Israel via Azerbaijan.

At a military base near Tel Aviv he was, he said, trained in arming a motorcycle with a remote-controlled bomb and shown a detailed model of Mohammadi's house in Tehran.

On Jan. 12 last year, Fashi said, he parked the motorcycle outside Mohammadi's house and detonated the bomb when the scientist left for work at Tehran University, killing him instantly.
Fashi's account has the smell of embellishment and propaganda by the Iranian regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his masters on the Guardians' Council of senior Muslim clerics.

The Mohammadi killing has always been the most difficult to resolve of the half dozen or so murder cases in the last four years of Iranian scientists connected with the country's nuclear program.

For a start, it is uncertain that Mohammadi was even involved in Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran insists is entirely for peaceful power generation, but which the United States, Europe, Israel and others say is aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Iranian officials and others familiar with his academic papers say Mohammadi dealt only in theoretical physics which had no practical application in the country's nuclear program.

And some have pointed at Mohammadi's support for the political opposition, and suggested it was the regime that killed him. That's not very convincing because Mohammadi was not a very engaged or high profile political activist.

For over four years, though, there have been persistent news reports, always quoting anonymous intelligence agency sources, that Mossad is engaged in a campaign to decapitate or otherwise frustrate Iran's nuclear program.

The justification is pre-emptive defence against a regime that continually threatens to "wipe Israel off the map," and which materially supports anti-Israeli terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

The campaign is said to be Israel's response to the failure of United Nations sanctions to halt or slow Iran's rush to acquire the technologies that will allow it to make nuclear weapons, and Washington's objections to Israel making overt air attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities as it did on those of Iraq in 1981.

But while there have been a couple of unexplained deaths of Iranian scientists and one mysterious defection to the U.S. of a nuclear researcher, Shahram Amiri, who later decided to return home, there have been only four clear attacks on Iran's nuclear program that have the hallmarks of intelligence agency operations.

On Nov. 29, 2010, Majid Shahriari, a professor of nuclear physics known to be working on the design of Iran's nuclear reactor core, was killed as he drove to work when a limpet bomb was attached to his car by a motorcyclist.

Simultaneously in another part of Tehran a similar attack was made on the car of Fereidon Abbasi, a colleague of Shahriari's and an expert on nuclear isotope separation. Abbasi saw the bomb being stuck to his car door and jumped out before it exploded. When he recovered from his injuries he was made head of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency.

At the same time as these attacks, Ahmadinejad revealed that Iran had been the target of a computer worm called Stuxnet. It had infected the computers controlling the cascades of centrifuges Iran is using to enrich uranium and which will allow it to make the core of a nuclear bomb. Stuxnet caused many of the centrifuges to spin out of control and shatter, and set back Iran's enrichment program by many months.

Israel never seriously denied its authorship of the Stuxnet attack.

The latest killing of an Iranian scientist was on July 23 when Darioush Rezaei was shot in the throat as he waited to collect his daughter from her kindergarten in east Tehran.

An official of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog, has been quoted by The Associated Press as saying Rezaei was involved in developing highvoltage switches necessary to trigger a nuclear warhead.

Available at: http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/answers+murders+Iranian+nuclear+scientists/5332336/story.html

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2.
Sarkozy Says Iran Nuclear Bid Could Provoke Preemptive Military Action
Al Arabiya News Channel
8/31/2011
(for personal use only)


French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned on Wednesday that Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions could provoke preemptive military action against it.

“Its military nuclear and ballistic ambitions constitute a growing threat that may lead to a preventive attack against Iranian sites that would provoke a major crisis that France wants to avoid at all costs,” he said.

Sarkozy did not say which country might launch such a strike, but it has been reported that Israel – perhaps with US support – has considered bombing Iranian nuclear sites if it believes Tehran is close to building a weapon.

The French leader placed the blame for the crisis on Iran, which insists it has no intention of building a nuclear weapon, and is merely enriching nuclear fuel for medical research and a domestic atomic energy program.

“Iran refuses to negotiate seriously,” he told an annual meeting of French diplomats. “Iran is carrying out new provocations in response to the challenge from the international community for it to provide a credible response.”

Sarkozy said France would work with its allies to build support for tougher international sanctions against Tehran's Islamist regime, in a bid to force it to back down over its enrichment program.

Available at: http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/08/31/164882.html


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C.  Nuclear Energy

1.
Chinese 'Coy' in Talks on Importing Uranium
Mark Schliebs
The Australian
8/31/2011
(for personal use only)


Chinese officials were "a bit coy" about whether they were still developing weapons-grade fissile material during initial negotiations over the importation of Australian uranium, according to a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

After a 2005 trip to Beijing, John Carlson, then director-general of the Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office, told US officials that the Chinese were so keen on using Australian uranium that they were interested in launching exploration projects. "Carlson also asked the Chinese whether they were still engaged in weapons-grade fissile material production," a cable sent from the US embassy in Canberra dated March 4, 2005, said. "He said he found the answer he got 'a bit coy'."

"The officials told him that (China) wanted negotiations on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty to begin as soon as possible, and he should infer from that that China was not producing such fissile material."

The cable noted Mr Carlson did not believe China was enriching uranium to weapons-grade strength, as he thought the country had enough material for its nuclear weapons plans.

An agreement between the two countries allowing uranium to be sold to China was later ratified by the Howard government.

The meeting came at a time when China was looking to expand its uranium imports, the cable said.

Mr Carlson had said he understood China had only 70,000 tonnes of low-grade uranium left to mine in its own territory and would need to import 8000 tonnes a year to meet needs.

"He said the Chinese expressed interest in uranium exploration in Australia, which had the world's largest uranium deposits," the cable said.

"Carlson had to explain to his hosts the 'difficult politics of Australian Labor Party-led governments' that control all Australia's states and territories and continue to block the development of additional uranium mines in their relevant jurisdictions."

Mr Carlson had also told US officials that an "envisioned" bilateral nuclear co-operation agreement with the Chinese would be broad enough to cover "all eventualities" -- including a possible deal under which Labor would import nuclear reactors in the future.

"This assumes, of course, that the ALP, Greens and the Australian general public drop their opposition to nuclear energy in the meantime," the cable noted.

Available at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/chinese-coy-in-talks-on-importing-uranium/story-fn59nm2j-1226125962113




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2.
Gov't Reexamining Nuclear Power Plant
Lior Gutman
Ynet News
8/30/2011
(for personal use only)


The Ministry of National Infrastructures commissioned an external body to conduct a feasibility study for the construction of a nuclear power plant, Calcalist has learned.

The study is part of the reexamination of the plans for a nuclear plant in Shivta in the Negev region of southern Israel. The plant would be constructed by the Israel Electric Corporation and is designated to produce 1,200 megawatt which constitutes some 10% of the IEC's current production capacity.

Information obtained by Calcalist indicates that the feasibility study was not for the said site alone but also aims to examine declaring an area in Israel ex-territory, i.e. a territory over which Israel holds no sovereignty.

The diplomatic ruse would serve to sidestep issues arising from Israel's refusal to sign international nuclear treaties which would subject it to scrutiny of international observers in facilities used to stockpile nuclear weapons as claimed by foreign press.

Surprisingly enough, the reexamination was conceived despite the gas discoveries off the coast of Israel, which was supposed to provide Israel with a steady, long-term source of energy alongside its ongoing use of coal.

The notion of setting up a nuclear power plant is not new to the current administration and its leader – in an interview to CNN last March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he favored the idea of building a nuclear reactor in Israel.

Aside from Netanyahu, IEC chairman Yiftach Ron-Tal voiced his opinion on the matter. In the recent Negev Conference, Ron-Tal said he believes that within ten years Israel would have such a plant.

He added that following the nuclear disaster in Japan, constructing a nuclear plant is feasible as the equipment used in the field nowadays is much safer than that used by the Japanese to build their nuclear power plants.

The Ministry of National Infrastructures declined comment.

Available at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4115270,00.html


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D.  Nuclear Safety & Security

1.
Extreme Soil Contamination Detected Near Fukushima Plant
Asahi
8/31/2011
(for personal use only)


Extreme levels of radiation have been detected in soil within 40 kilometers of the quakeicken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the science ministry said.

The finding emerged in a map published Aug. 29 that for the first time shows contamination levels of areas within a 100-km radius of the plant.

One location in the town of Okuma had the highest value at about 30 million becquerels of cesium of all types per square meter.

About 8 percent of the measured areas recorded more than 555,000 becquerels, the figure that required forcible relocation by residents in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear incident.

The measurements were taken June 6 to June 14, about three months after the Great East Japan Earthquake, by 780 members of 129 universities and specialized organizations from around the nation. Soil samples were collected from about 2,200 locations to identify the concentration levels of radioactive cesium. The results will serve as a basis for information used in reviewing decontamination projects, evacuation areas and other quake-related efforts.

The map shows that areas with high radiation levels are concentrated in a zone to the northwest of the plant within a 40-km radius of the facility.

Many of the areas with such high levels are within the no-entry zone and the planned evacuation zone, but those levels were also detected outside of the zones in parts of Fukushima, Motomiya and Koriyama cities. The no-entry zone is within a 20-km radius area of the plant, while the planned evacuation zone is an area that could see more than 20 millisieverts of accumulated radiation in a year after the March 11 onset of the plant's crisis.

The radiation map for the Chernobyl accident was completed three years after the incident.
Soil samples were collected for each 2-square-km area within an 80-km radius of the plant.

Samples were also collected from each 10-square-km area within an 80- to 100-km radius of the facility. The number of sample locations total five for each radius zone. The sample was drawn from the soil 5 centimeters from the surface. The concentration levels of cesium-134 and cesium-137-the half-life periods of which are two years and 30 years, respectively-were estimated as of June 14 in this project.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Aug. 29 also compiled a radiation map for agricultural fields, which was drawn by measuring radiation levels at 579 sites in the prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba. Of the 579 sites, radiation levels above safety standards-which prohibit rice planting-were detected at 40 locations in Fukushima Prefecture. Areas showing levels exceeding safety standards are estimated at 8,300 hectares.

The Fukushima prefectural government on the same day released the results of the first measurements of radiation levels of rice paddies in the no-entry zone. The government found levels above safety standards at 20 locations out of the 89 sites examined in areas near the plant, including the no-entry zone and the planned evacuation zone.

Available at: http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201108300258.html


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2.
Govt Approves N-Safety Bill
Deccan Herald
8/31/2011
(for personal use only)


The government on Tuesday approved Nuclear Energy Safety Regulatory Authority Bill, 2011, which aims to establish Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (AERA) as a statutory body answerable directly to the Parliament.

Sources informed that a decision to clear the bill was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet, which was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Now the bill is most likely to be introduced in Parliament during the ongoing session, the sources added.

According to the bill, sources said, once enacted in the Parliament an AERA would come into being as a statutory body which will directly report to the Parliament and not to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

The AERA will eventually subsume the existing Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, which currently oversees safety aspects at 22 running power plants in the country and report to the Atomic Energy Commission under the DAE. Claiming that best practices world over have been incorporated in the bill, sources said, the proposed regulator will have full power to stop construction work and order an operating nuclear plant to shut down operations. It also envisages government funding for the authority, they said, adding that the authority will also have its own independent research and development back up.

Available at: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/nation/north/govt-approves-n-safety-bill-443


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E.  Nuclear Cooperation

1.
IAEA Chief to Meet Arab Envoys to Lobby For Mideast Forum
Kuwait News Agency
8/31/2011
(for personal use only)


Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano plans to convene with delegates of the Arab countries to the agency here in early September, insiders of the UN nuclear watchdog said Tuesday.

The meeting, part of lobbying for a new forum on the Middle East late this year, aims to convince all Arab countries of the need to converge with Israel for the application of full-scope nuclear safeguards in the region, the sources told KUNA.

Amano has slated September 5 for the meeting where he will urge the Arab diplomats to overcome their differences with Israel and utilize the IAEA experiences in Latin America and Africa in the field of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, they revealed.

The Arab countries welcome in principle the efforts of the UN agency and Amano's initiative for holding a forum on the Middle East in a bid to realize the ultimate goal of declaring the region a nuclear weapon-free zone.

However, these countries affirm the need to apply the IAEA nuclear safeguards and inspections in all countries of the region without exception. They reject all attempts by Israel to evade IAEA inspections of its nuclear arsenal under the pretext of dim prospects of peace in the region, the diplomats added.

Available at: http://www.kuna.net.kw/NewsAgenciesPublicSite/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2187719&Language=en


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2.
US, Australia 'Schemed Against IAEA Chief'
Agence France-Presse
8/31/2011
(for personal use only)


The US and Australia schemed unsuccessfully in 2005 to block Mohamed ElBaradei's election to a third term as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a newly leaked US diplomatic cable shows.

Both countries were unhappy with Mr ElBaradei's "unhelpful" response to Iran's nuclear program, but the bid to prevent his re-election to the nuclear regulatory agency's leadership ultimately failed for lack of international support.

The February 18, 2005 State Department cable released by WikiLeaks overnight opens a window into the effort, describing a lunch conversation between Australian officials and a US special envoy for nuclear non-proliferation, Jackie Sanders.

The cable spotlights US and Australian concerns over the Egyptian diplomat's interpretation that Iran had a "right" to civilian nuclear power, and his reluctance to declare Iran in non-compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Australian officials said there weren't the 12 votes on the IAEA board of governors needed to deny Mr ElBaradei re-election, "but that did not stop them from speculating on ways to try to prevent his re-election", said the cable.

John Carlson, then head of Australia's nuclear safeguards agency and one of the officials at the lunch, said Canberra strongly supported limiting IAEA chiefs to two terms, according to the cable.

"Carlson commented that ElBaradei was a very bad manager and morale throughout the IAEA staff was 'appalling,'" the cable said.

The problem, however, was that no other candidate would step forward to challenge Mr ElBaradei as long as the Egyptian diplomat was in the running, and not enough members of the board of governors would vote against him, Mr Carlson said.

A US official at the lunch asked whether an Australian candidate could be put up against Mr ElBaradei, but Mr Carlson said that could work only if Mr ElBaradei first withdrew from the running.

"Sanders responded that there had been a time in the past when the numbers of ElBaradei non-supporters were there, and the issue was not over yet," the cable said.

"Carlson observed that in a secret ballot, anything could happen. It might be useful to put the word out in Vienna that ElBaradei could fail," it said.

The cable also included an informal document forwarded by Mr Carlson, who had not yet cleared it with his government, entitled The case against ElBaradei.

The brief argues that Mr ElBaradei's reports to the IAEA's board of governor appeared to have been made with the object of stalling a finding that Iran's nuclear program was in non-compliance with the NPT.

"Iran's success in avoiding a non-compliance finding has emboldened it to press on with the nuclear program," it said.

"Meanwhile, the handling of the non-compliance issue has seriously damaged the integrity and credibility of the IAEA's processes. A change is needed in the IAEA leadership, to return the Agency to its technical function," the document said.

But Mr ElBaradei survived the challenge, and went on to serve until 2009.

Available at: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/us-australia-schemed-against-iaea-chief/story-e6frf7jx-1226126096923


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3.
Vietnam Has 'Absolute Confidence' in Japan Nuke Technology: Ambassador
The Mainichi Daily News
8/31/2011
(for personal use only)


The Vietnamese government has "absolute confidence in Japanese nuclear technology," Vietnam's Ambassador to Japan Nguyen Phu Binh told the Mainichi during a recent interview, speaking on the selection of a Japanese group of companies to build nuclear power plants in the Southeast Asian nation.

Despite the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis, Nguyen also emphasized that Vietnam would proceed with discussions on the nuclear technology deal as planned, stating the disaster "does not change our cooperation with Japan." Vietnam agreed to commission two Japanese-built reactors in the southern province of Ninh Thuan during a Japan-Vietnam leaders' summit in October 2010.

"The nuclear crisis is the fault of an unforeseen tsunami," Nguyen told the Mainichi. "I believe Japan will use the crisis to learn important lessons and develop great technology."

Furthermore, "Japan and Vietnam are strategic partners, and there are many sectors where we can compliment one another for the economic development of both countries," Nguyen stated, referring to a broad range of bilateral initiatives including continued planning for a joint rare earth development project in northern Vietnam.

The ambassador also revealed the Japanese government has offered his nation an electronic customs system, and that Vietnam is "proactively considering" the offer.

Available at: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110831p2a00m0na013000c.html


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4.
Japan-Vietnam Nuclear Tech Talks to Restart in September
The Mainichi Daily News
8/30/2011
(for personal use only)


The governments of Vietnam and Japan will restart discussions in September on the provision of Japanese nuclear power technology to the Southeast Asian nation, it was revealed on Aug. 29.

Government officials from both nations are scheduled to meet again on Sept. 8 and 9 in Tokyo to work out specific details of the nuclear technology deal.

The bilateral negotiations for the provision of nuclear reactors from a Japanese group of companies -- already approved by Hanoi -- were halted in the wake of the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Vietnam approved the deal to contract the Japanese group of companies to provide and build nuclear power facilities at a Japan-Vietnam leaders' summit in October 2010. At the time, the Japanese side had stressed the country could offer the latest nuclear power technology, training, and financing via the Japan Bank of International Cooperation. The meetings set for this September are expected to address the concrete details of Japanese assistance to Vietnam, the project structure, and investment portions of the parties involved.

Japanese exports of nuclear power technology came into question following the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant and Prime Minister Naoto Kan's subsequent push to shift the country away from dependence on nuclear power plants. However, the Cabinet decided on Aug. 5 to continue export negotiations -- most notably with Vietnam and Turkey -- that were already under way. The most recent Diet session, however, failed to approve the Vietnam deal, and the government is now aiming to get the deal passed in the extraordinary session set for this autumn.

Available at: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110830p2a00m0na011000c.html

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F.  Nuclear Industry

1.
Nuclear Industry's Growth to Slow
Liu Yiyu
China Daily
8/31/2011
(for personal use only)


The expansion of China's nuclear power industry will slow from the rapid rate of the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), but the country should avoid drastic changes in nuclear development policies, said a former head of the National Energy Administration.

"China's nuclear industry base is still weak and we must ensure development stability and consistency," Zhang Guobao, who also serves on the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said in a speech posted on Tuesday on the website of the China Nuclear Energy Association.

China will have 42 gigawatts (gW) of nuclear capacity by 2015, equal to 3 percent of total installed power capacity, according Zhang said.

After the accident at Japan's Fukushima nuclear complex caused by the massive March earthquake and tsunami, China's State Council said on March 16 that it would suspend approvals of new nuclear power stations and order comprehensive safety inspections at all nuclear plants, including those under construction.

The inspection concluded in early August. No information on the inspections has been released so far.

China hasn't approved any new projects so far this year and the industry's development will slow compared with the past five years, said Zhang.

Work on four previously approved plants, which hasn't yet started, was also halted by the safety inspections.

Before the Japanese accident, another 10 units using the latest Westinghouse Electric Co AP1000 technology were in the planning stages.

Preliminary work on these projects was also suspended, according to the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp, a major nuclear technology developer.

Billions of yuan had been spent on preliminary work, and the suspension meant a loss of orders for dozens of manufacturers.

Additionally, China has 27 units at some stage of construction, representing 30 gW of nuclear capacity, or 42 percent of the world's total units under construction.

Zhang also said that China should use the inevitable slowdown in construction to address weaknesses in the sector, including manufacturing capacity and technological innovation.

Last month, China connected its fourth-generation reactor to the grid. The plant is an experimental fast-breeder reactor, which produces less radioactive waste than current designs.
Technological work on the CAP1400 model, which has a larger generating capacity than the AP1000 on which it is based, is also in progress.

Despite the vibrant development of renewable energy, nuclear power remains an irreplaceable choice for China to achieve the target of generating 15 percent of its electricity from non-fossil fuels by 2020, said Zhang. "We should take this crisis as an opportunity to catch up as the world's leading nuclear power country."

Available at: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2011-08/31/content_13225025.htm


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2.
Vote on KC Weapons Plant is Still Uncertain
Mike Hendricks
Kansas City Star
8/30/2011
(for personal use only)


It could be late September before it’s known whether a measure challenging a new weapons plant in Kansas City gets on the November ballot.

Last week, the City Council refused to put the question before the voters, prompting a legal challenge from proponents of the effort, who thought they faced a Tuesday deadline to get a favorable court ruling.

But as it turns out, Aug. 30 is merely the last day to get measures on the ballot through normal means. Under state statute, a court order putting it on the ballot could come as late as Sept. 27.

So Jackson County Circuit Judge Edith Messina postponed Monday’s scheduled hearing until today.

She promised to issue a decision by mid-September.

The group Kansas City Peace Planters is behind the ballot measure that would outlaw manufacture of parts for nuclear weapons at a plant being built at 14500 Botts Road.

Although the group gathered a sufficient number of signatures to put the issue to a vote, a 12-1 council majority blocked access to the ballot, citing constitutional concerns.

Available at: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/30/3110740/vote-on-weapons-plant-is-still.html


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G.  Links of Interest

1.
Joint Efforts Needed on Replacing Nuclear Power
Jean Asselborn
Asahi
8/31/2011
(for personal use only)
http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201108300267.html


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2.
Nuclear Politics
Manpreet Sethi
The Diplomat
8/31/2011
(for personal use only)
http://the-diplomat.com/flashpoints-blog/2011/08/31/nuclear-politics/


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3.
Accepting Reality: Living With a Nuclear North Korea
Ted Galen Carpenter
The National Interest
8/30/2011
(for personal use only)
http://nationalinterest.org/print/blog/the-skeptics/accepting-reality-living..


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