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Nuclear News - 9/19/2011
PGS Nuclear News, September 19, 2011
Compiled By: Michael Kennedy


A.  North Korea
    1. Korean Nuclear Envoys to Meet in Beijing, Voice of America (9/16/2011)
B.  Nuclear Cooperation
    1. Pakistan Seeking 'Third-Generation Nuclear Technology' Import from China, The Times of India (9/17/2011)
    2. China For Nuke-Free Middle East; Urges Israel To Join NPT, RTT News (9/16/2011)
    3. Areva-Mitsubishi JV Eyes Turkey Nuclear Order- Paper, Dominique Vidalon, Reuters (9/16/2011)
    4. Israel Upgrades Links with European Nuclear Lab, Associated Press (9/16/2011)
    5. Russia, Ukraine to Complete Joint Venture for Outfitting Nuclear Fuel Plant, Kyiv Post (9/15/2011)
    6. GE Hitachi, Fluor Partner to Bid on Polish Project, Forbes (9/15/2011)
C.  Nuclear Safety & Security
    1. India to Unveil its Nuclear-Capacity Addition Plan at IAEA Meeting, Charles Kennedy, Oil Price (9/17/2011)
    2. Head of Nuclear Watchdog Criticizes TEPCO Over Blacked-Out Documents, The Mainichi Daily News (9/17/2011)
    3. US Official: Program Aimed at Libyan Scientists, Douglas Birch, Forbes (9/16/2011)
    4. UPDATE 1-France's EDF Says Nuclear Plants Pass Stress Tests, Marie Maitre and Elena Berton, Reuters (9/16/2011)
    5. UK Regulator: Stress Tests Initiated At All Nuclear Plants, Selina Williams, Fox Business (9/15/2011)
    6. Nuclear Plant Firms Adopt Landmark Code of Conduct, Expatica (9/15/2011)
D.  Links of Interest
    1. Iran's Nuclear Power Plant: Threat or Distraction?, Suzanne Maloney, CNN (9/16/2011)
    2. Nuclear Proliferation: The Crime with No Punishment?, Eben Harrell, Time (9/16/2011)
    3. As Iran Edges Closer to Nukes, Barbara Slavin, Politico (9/16/2011)
    4. Former IDF Chief Reveals New Details of Israel's Nuclear Program, Amir Oren, Haaretz (9/16/2011)
    5. A.Q. Khan's Thirteen-Page Confession, Fox News (9/15/2011)



A.  North Korea

1.
Korean Nuclear Envoys to Meet in Beijing
Voice of America
9/16/2011
(for personal use only)


The nuclear envoys of South and North Korea will meet in Beijing next week in another attempt to restart stalled negotiations on the North's nuclear program.

A spokeswoman at the South Korean Foreign Ministry says Wi Sung-lac will travel to China for talks with North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho "in the middle of next week," without confirming an actual date.

The two envoys held talks in July on sidelines of the ASEAN security conference in Bali, Indonesia - the first such talks between the two countries since the six-nation negotiations collapsed in December 2008.

Those discussions were followed by a round of talks between U.S. and North Korean officials in New York.

The United States and South Korea, along with China, Russia and Japan, have been negotiating with the impoverished North for eight years to get it to give up its nuclear weapons programs in exchange for food, energy and aid. Pyongyang quit the talks in 2009 and later conducted its second nuclear test, as well as further testing of its ballistic missiles.

During talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il expressed a willingness to impose a moratorium on his country's nuclear program if the talks resume.

But Washington and Seoul have called for North Korea to abide by its past commitments to disarm before the talks restart.

The negotiators are also concerned about Pyongyang's admission that it has a uranium enrichment program, which gives it another means to produce atomic weapons.

Available at: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/Korean-Nuclear-Envoys-to-Meet-in-Beijing-129942173.html



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B.  Nuclear Cooperation

1.
Pakistan Seeking 'Third-Generation Nuclear Technology' Import from China
The Times of India
9/17/2011
(for personal use only)


Islamabad plans to import latest Chinese nuclear technology, a senior Pakistan government official has said.

"Pakistan is in discussions with Chinese companies for imports of the third-generation nuclear technology," the China Daily quoted Mir Changez Khan Jamali, Pakistan's Minister of Science and Technology, as saying.

Jamali said he hoped that the latest technology could be acquired by Pakistan in one or two years.

China has helped with two reactors at Pakistan's Chashma nuclear power plant, both of which
use second-generation technology.

Pakistan has a third 300-megawatt reactor under construction at Chashma, financed by China.

There are plans for more Chinese reactors in Pakistan, according to the World Nuclear Association.

Meanwhile, China is developing its first domestic third-generation nuclear reactor - the CAP 1400 - which is based on Westinghouse Electric Co's AP1000 pressurized water reactor, and it will boost the unit's generating capacity to 1,400 mW from 1,154 mW.

Available at: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-09-17/south-asia/30168662_1_pakistan-s-chashma-reactor-nuclear-technology


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2.
Areva-Mitsubishi JV Eyes Turkey Nuclear Order- Paper
Dominique Vidalon
Reuters
9/16/2011
(for personal use only)


A joint venture between Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and France's Areva may land a nuclear reactor order from Turkey, the chairman of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said in a newspaper interview.

Kazuo Tsukuda also told French daily La Tribune that a possible entry of Mitsubishi into the capital of Areva was "not on the agenda" as the French company, whose shareholders last year backed a 900 million euro capital increase, was less in need of capital to fund its development.

"Talks on the issue have thus been suspended. But we said from the start, two years ago, that we would be ready at any time to respond positively to an investment request," he said.

Areva and Mitubshi have a joint-venture, Atmea, which is currently seeking nuclear reactor contracts from Jordan and Turkey.

Available at: http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL5E7KG09320110916


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3.
China For Nuke-Free Middle East; Urges Israel To Join NPT
RTT News
9/16/2011
(for personal use only)


China has reaffirmed its support for the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East and called Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as soon as possible.

China has always supported strengthening of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and has been committed to promoting the universality, effectiveness and authority of the NPT, China's deputy envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Huang Wei said on Thursday.

Huang told the ongoing IAEA board meeting in the Austrian capital Vienna that China had been advocating that Israel should join the NPT as a non-nuclear country as soon as possible and put its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.

All countries in the region should earnestly fulfill their NPT obligations, sign and ratify IAEA comprehensive safeguards agreement and its additional protocols, Huang said welcoming the proposal for holding an international conference on a WMD-free (weapon of mass destruction) zone in the Middle East next year as agreed at the 2010 NPT review conference.

China also welcomed the IAEA initiative to host a forum in November on building a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region, and hoped that the concerned parties strive to implement relevant recommendations made by the NPT review conference, China's Xinhua news agency
reported.

Available at: http://www.rttnews.com/Content/GeneralNews.aspx?Id=1715258&SM=1


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4.
Israel Upgrades Links with European Nuclear Lab
Associated Press
9/16/2011
(for personal use only)


Israel has signed an agreement to upgrade links with the European nuclear physics laboratory CERN, famed for its giant atomic collider beneath the Swiss-French border.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research said Friday it has admitted the country as an associate member pending ratification by Israel's parliament.

Israeli scientists have long collaborated with CERN, including on an experiment searching for the Higgs particle inside the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider. If proven to exist, the Higgs particle could explain why matter has mass.

The Geneva-based organization has 20 members and CERN says Israel can become the first non-European member after a minimum two-year waiting period. The U.S. has observer status at CERN, one step below associate membership.

Available at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44551490/ns/technology_and_science-science/#.TndJWmPm_kS


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5.
GE Hitachi, Fluor Partner to Bid on Polish Project
Forbes
9/15/2011
(for personal use only)


GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy said Thursday that it and Fluor Corp. will jointly bid on a nuclear power plant construction project in Poland.

GE Hitachi ( HIT - news - people ) said Fluor ( FLR - news - people ) would be its engineering, procurement and construction partner under the memorandum of understanding between the two companies. The financial terms were not disclosed.

Poland is preparing to build two nuclear power stations. Utility Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A. is expected to open the bidding process Sept. 22-23 in Warsaw. The utility wants to complete vendor selection by mid-2013. It has set 2020 as the commercial date of operation for its first nuclear power plant.

GE Hitachi, which is based in Wilmington, N.C., was established in 2007 by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry.

Shares of Fluor rose $1.60, or 2.7 percent, to end at $60.63 and fell 54 cents in after-hours trading.

Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/09/15/business-industrials-us-ge-hitachi-fluor_8682325.html


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6.
Russia, Ukraine to Complete Joint Venture for Outfitting Nuclear Fuel Plant
Kyiv Post
9/15/2011
(for personal use only)


Kyiv-based Nuclear Fuel state concern and Russia's OJSC TVEL will complete the creation of a joint venture for building in Ukraine a nuclear fuel plant before this year is out, and Russia will provide its technology for the production of nuclear assemblies, TVEL's Vice President Vasily Konstantinov has told the press.

On Sept.15, Ukrainian media reported that the Russian and Ukrainian parties had developed difficulties in the transfer to Ukraine of technical data, which prevented the development of a feasibility study.

"The transfer of technology involves our obligations in the context of the tender [for building the plant] won, and today no one is in doubt that our obligations will be met. When the technology will be transferred to the JV is another matter," Konstantinov said.

For the transfer to take place, the parties will have to set up the joint venture, he said. "We have now gotten to where we will be registering shares and before the end of the year the JV's creation should be complete," he said.

After that, he said, the parties are to work up a feasibility study, "and it's clear that the technology will figure in the feasibility study's development."

The project timeframe has not been changed, Konstantinov said.

On Sept.14, Ukraine and Russia founded a joint venture for building a nuclear fuel plant - the private stock company Plant for Producing Nuclear Fuel (CHAO ZPYAT), but did not register it. The agreement to build the plant was signed last October. Ukraine, represented by Nuclear Fuel state concern, will secure a controlling stake in the new enterprise. In 2015, the plant should be producing TVEL and TVS, and in 2020 - granulated fuels, tablets, and TVS.

The cost of outfitting the JV is estimated at $370 million.

Available at: http://www.kyivpost.com/news/business/bus_general/detail/112896/


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C.  Nuclear Safety & Security

1.
Head of Nuclear Watchdog Criticizes TEPCO Over Blacked-Out Documents
The Mainichi Daily News
9/17/2011
(for personal use only)


The head of a government nuclear watchdog has criticized Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) for not being transparent enough, after it submitted documents earlier this month that were mostly blacked out.

"Why don't they release all the information? There are problems with TEPCO's attitude toward providing information," Hiroyuki Fukano, 54, head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), told the Mainichi in an interview on Sept. 16.

The documents in question include an operation manual for responding to nuclear accidents.

"NISA has still not received the manual (in full)," Fukano said. "It is our job to investigate problems such as why the emergency condenser (for cooling the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant) didn't work properly, and the operation manual serves as a base for such investigations." Fukano indicated that NISA will request non-blacked out documents from TEPCO.

Regarding the current state of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant six months on from the start of the crisis, Fukano said, "Although conditions have stabilized, there are still large amounts of radioactive water at the site, and we can't say the situation is under control. There are still many problems to tackle."

On the plant's complete loss of electricity after the earthquake, Fukano said, "Such a possibility hadn't seemed real to us. There was a feeling that a complete loss of power was rare, and a disaster situation would end before it got too serious."

Regarding the threat of tsunamis, he said, "We considered them as only an 'accompanying phenomenon' to earthquakes, and did not do enough (to make sure plants were prepared.)"

Commenting on criticism that NISA suffered for initially giving the Fukushima disaster a "Level 4" rating on the International Nuclear Event Scale, Fukano said, "We should have given (an accurate) rating sooner. That's something that we are rightly criticized over."

On the safety of other nuclear plants around the country, Fukano said, "I cannot say that they are absolutely safe, and I won't. Nothing involving humans is 100 percent safe.
However, in stress tests from here on, we will announce what risks the plants face and how prepared they are for disasters."

Fukano, who worked under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry at the time of the March 11 disaster, joined NISA in late March. In August, he replaced Nobuaki Terasaka as head of NISA.

Available at: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110917p2a00m0na007000c.html



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2.
India to Unveil its Nuclear-Capacity Addition Plan at IAEA Meeting
Charles Kennedy
Oil Price
9/17/2011
(for personal use only)


India will disclose its plans to expand its civilian nuclear power generation programs at next week’s 55th annual International Atomic Energy Agency meeting in Vienna.
India’s Atomic Energy Commission chairman Srikumar Banerjee, who is also India’s Atomic Energy Department Secretary, will lead India’s delegation.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already announced his country’s intention to pursue its atomic program to increase India’s nuclear generation capacity in the next two decades to 63,000 megawatts over the nation’s present electrical power generation level of 4,780 megawatts, The Business Standard reported.

Last month Singh stated that he was convinced that nuclear energy "will play an important role in the country's quest for clean and environment-friendly energy."

Not everyone is convinced of the value of nuclear power in India’s future. Director of Center for Environmental Studies, GITAM University, Professor T Shivaji Rao said that nuclear power is not only hazardous but expensive for India, commenting, "Nuclear power, which was considered a safe source of energy during the previous decades by several technologically advanced countries, has been recently proved to be a more uneconomical and hazardous option. Hence countries like Japan and Germany recently decided to close down the existing nuclear power plants in their countries. Since Nuclear Power is inherently unsafe in both conventional and advanced passive safety reactors, the Indian Prime Minister must learn from the lessons of Chernobyl and Fukushima Nuclear plant accidents and gradually close down the existing plants in India."

Available at: http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/India-to-Unveil-its-Nuclear-Capacity-Addition-Plan-at-IAEA-Meeting.html


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3.
UPDATE 1-France's EDF Says Nuclear Plants Pass Stress Tests
Marie Maitre and Elena Berton
Reuters
9/16/2011
(for personal use only)


French state utility EDF said on Friday that safety assessment reports it had submitted to the country's atomic watchdog ASN gave France's 19 nuclear plants a mostly clean bill of health.

The safety tests have show a "good level" of safety for all of its facilities, said EDF, the world's largest single producer of nuclear power.

EU ministers agreed in March that Europe's nuclear reactors would undergo voluntary stress tests to establish new safety standards in the light of Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster.

France has committed to close any reactor that would fail the stress tests.

The government had asked EDF, which operates France's 58 nuclear reactors in 19 plants, to test the reactors' capacity to resist flooding, earthquakes, power outages, failure of the cooling systems, and operation management of accidents.

EDF's report, which the ASN says is 7,000 page long, will be examined by the nuclear watchdog, and the ASN's conclusions are expected to be announced by the end of the year.

Available at: http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL5E7KG2JL20110916


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4.
US Official: Program Aimed at Libyan Scientists
Douglas Birch
Forbes
9/16/2011
(for personal use only)


The U.S. is trying to revive a program to prevent Libyan chemical, biological and nuclear scientists from working for terror groups or hostile nations, a State Department official said Thursday.

Hundreds of experts worked in Moammar Gadhafi's weapons of mass destruction programs.

After Gadhafi agreed to dismantle those programs in 2003, the U.S. launched an effort to steer Libya's WMD scientists into civilian research projects, including water desalination, oil and gas production and nuclear medicine. The effort was suspended during Libya's civil war.

The official told The Associated Press that the U.S. has asked Libya's interim government to allow Washington to re-establish contact with the scientists. The official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Libya's new leaders have expressed an interest in working with the U.S. on the scientist program and other counter-proliferation efforts, the official said, but so far they have not formally responded.

Bilal Saab, a Middle East expert at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, said securing Libya's weapons of mass destruction and the expertise needed to produce them is a priority for the U.S. But, Saab said, Libya's interim leaders have different concerns, including their struggle to defeat the remaining Gadhafi loyalists and unify the country.

The U.S. has sought to keep track of Libya's unconventional weapons experts during the civil war, the State Department official said, and has found no direct evidence that any were recruited to work in illicit weapons programs.

Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/09/16/business-us-us-libyan-scientists_8683438.html


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5.
Nuclear Plant Firms Adopt Landmark Code of Conduct
Expatica
9/15/2011
(for personal use only)


The world's nuclear power plant exporters announced Thursday a first-ever code of conduct, which they hope will raise safety standards, prevent proliferation, and enhance environmental protection.

They agreed to six principles addressing everything from physical safety and security to ethics and compensation for damage in the event of an accident.

The agreement, which is not legally binding, was finalized earlier this year after an arduous three-year process aimed at nailing down corporate standards and nuclear responsibility.

Ariel Levite of the Nuclear Policy Program at Carnegie Institute for International Peace, the Washington-based think tank that brought together the eight firms which eventually signed the pact, said some of the companies had already implemented the standards in dealing with potential client states.

The process, he said, has helped "heighten the sensitivity of the pertinent corporations, not just to the responsibilities and the obligations to their shareholders, their home states, the clients, and to... state regulators, but also highlight their nuclear corporate social responsibility duties."

The code's adopters include French energy giant Areva; Atomstroyexport of Russia; Canada's Candu Energy; US-Japanese firm GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy; Korea Electric Power Company; Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Toshiba; and US giant Westinghouse.

The China National Nuclear Corporation participated in early talks but did not adopt the code.

Aside from requiring signatories to adopt proliferation-resistant designs in their plants, the code
expects customer states be party to the International Atomic Energy Agency's Convention on Nuclear Safety.

That would rule out non-signatories Iran and North Korea, two nations with nuclear power that have been at the center of international disputes over nuclear weapons.

"In adopting these non-proliferation safeguard principles, exporters of nuclear power plants are demonstrating that they will act as responsible stakeholders of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime," said Pierre Goldschmidt, a former deputy director of safeguards at IAEA, which helped in the principles process.

The IAEA has said some 60 countries have recently expressed interest in acquiring a nuclear power plant, and that about 15 of them may aquire a plant or start building one over the next decade.

Available at: http://www.expatica.com/fr/news/french-news/nuclear-plant-firms-adopt-landmark-code-of-conduct_175734.html


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6.
UK Regulator: Stress Tests Initiated At All Nuclear Plants
Selina Williams
Fox Business
9/15/2011
(for personal use only)


Stress tests at all the U.K.'s nuclear power plants have been initiated as part of a European Union agreement to test all such facilities across Europe following the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, the Office for Nuclear Regulation said Thursday.

So far the tests, which are being conducted by the licensees of the power plants, have not indicated any fundamental weaknesses in design and resilience at U.K. nuclear power plants, a statement from the ONR said.

French nuclear giant Electricite de France SA (EDF.FR) operates eight of the U.K.'s nuclear power stations, all but one of which were built in the 1970s and 1980s. EDF is also spearheading a nuclear revival in the U.K., which has one of the most advanced programs in Europe to build a fleet of new nuclear power plants.

The stress tests involve targeted reassessment of each station's safety margins in the case of extreme natural events, such as an earthquake and tsunami.

The U.K.'s national nuclear safety regulators will then independently review the results of the tests.

The EU requires progress reports by Sept. 15, to confirm both that licensees of nuclear power stations have started the tests and that they were on schedule to complete them by Oct. 31.

The ONR's review of the tests must be sent in by Dec. 31.

The ONR also said that the U.K.'s chief nuclear inspector and executive head of the ONR Mike Weightman is on track to deliver his full report to the Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne in September.

In an interim report published in May, Weightman said there is no need to curtail operations at the U.K.'s existing nuclear power plants, or to stop the multi-billion pound program to build a new fleet of reactors as a result of Fukushima.

The U.K.'s existing and planned nuclear reactors are of a different design to the ones used at Fukushima, and the earthquake and tsunami that caused the disaster in Japan are beyond even the most extreme natural events that the U.K. could be expected to experience, Weightman said in the May report.

Available at: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2011/09/15/uk-regulatorstress-tests-initiated-at-all-nuclear-plants/


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D.  Links of Interest

1.
As Iran Edges Closer to Nukes
Barbara Slavin
Politico
9/16/2011
(for personal use only)
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/63686.html


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2.
Former IDF Chief Reveals New Details of Israel's Nuclear Program
Amir Oren
Haaretz
9/16/2011
(for personal use only)
http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/former-idf-chief-reveals-new-details..


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3.
Iran's Nuclear Power Plant: Threat or Distraction?
Suzanne Maloney
CNN
9/16/2011
(for personal use only)
http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/16/irans-nuclear-power-plant-threat-or..


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4.
Nuclear Proliferation: The Crime with No Punishment?
Eben Harrell
Time
9/16/2011
(for personal use only)
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2092585,00.html


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5.
A.Q. Khan's Thirteen-Page Confession
Fox News
9/15/2011
(for personal use only)
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/09/15/aq-khans-thirteen-page-confession/


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

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