The board of governors of the UN atomic agency was expected to approve Thursday a resolution criticising Iran brought by world powers that is also aimed at dissuading Israel from military action.
The motion was introduced at the meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board on Wednesday after days of haggling between Western nations and Russia and China, which are seen as more lenient on Tehran.
The draft text, seen by AFP, expresses "serious concern that Iran continues to defy" UN Security Council resolutions for it to suspend uranium enrichment, a process which can be used for peaceful purposes but also in a nuclear weapon.
The board was expected to debate the resolution and vote later on Thursday, although diplomats said some member states could seek to introduce amendments, which might postpone approval until Friday.
The text also highlights the IAEA's complaint that activities spotted at the Parchin military base, where it suspects nuclear weapons research took place, would "significantly hamper" inspectors -- should Iran let them visit.
Iran says its expanding atomic programme is for peaceful purposes, but since the IAEA says repeatedly that it is unable to vouch for this, the UN Security Council has passed six resolutions, four of them with sanctions attached.
The United States and the European Union have also imposed additional unilateral sanctions that have hit Iran's vital oil exports hard, and EU foreign ministers said last weekend that they are considering additional measures.
The IAEA's resolution, which Western diplomats said had the backing of all but a couple of members of the board, stops short of a referral of Iran to the Security Council, and is the 12th in nine years.
But it is significant that Western nations were able to get Moscow and Beijing on board, and at a time of heightened speculation that Israel, the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear-armed state, might bomb Iran, analysts say.
The resolution "reflects the desire of member states to underscore that diplomacy is paramount and it warns Israel in two separate paragraphs that the diplomatic process should be supported," Mark Hibbs from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told AFP.
Available at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jZ1wNtKko87A0nTL6i3oQsbrKG4g?docId=CNG.5eac773544bef77c221490c550cac9ef.81
2. U.S. Has About a Year if Iran Decides to Make a Nuclear Bomb: Panetta
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If Iran decides to make a nuclear weapon, the United States would have a little more than a year to act to stop it, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Tuesday.
"It's roughly about a year right now. A little more than a year. And so ... we think we will have the opportunity once we know that they've made that decision, take the action necessary to stop (Iran)," Panetta said on CBS's "This Morning" program.
He said the United States has "pretty good intelligence" on Iran. "We know generally what they're up to. And so we keep a close track on them."
Panetta said the United States has the capability to prevent Iran from building an atomic bomb.
"We have the forces in place to be able to not only defend ourselves, but to do what we have to do to try to stop them from developing nuclear weapons," he said.
The United States and Israel believe Iran is working toward developing nuclear weapon development capability. Israel, widely thought to be the Middle East's only atomic power, says a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its existence.
Iran says its nuclear work is for peaceful energy purposes only.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday ramped up threats to attack Iran, saying if world powers refused to set a red line for Tehran's nuclear program, they could not demand that Israel hold its fire.
"The world tells Israel 'wait, there's still time.' And I say, 'Wait for what? Wait until when?' Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel," Netanyahu told reporters in Israel.
Netanyahu has said Israel and the United States were in talks on setting a "clear red line" for Iran's nuclear program. But the two allies remain at odds over whether to spell out a clear threshold for military action.
Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/11/us-iran-nuclear-panetta-idUSBRE88A0R920120911
1. Ex-USFK Commander Warns Against North's Nuclear and Missile Threats
The Korea Times
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North Korea's Kim Jong-un may carry out a nuclear or missile test to bolster his leadership at home and abroad, a former chief of U.S. Forces Korea said Thursday, calling on Seoul to beef up its missile defense system to counter growing threats from the belligerent North.
"(Kim) has made clear that he will continue to develop nuclear weapons capabilities and increase even more, and continue to develop ballistic missiles," Walter Sharp said at an interview with Yonhap News Agency during his visit to Seoul at the invitation of the Korea Retired Generals and Admirals Association. "If you look at history, especially in the last four or five years, the indication would be that there's probably more coming."
Sharp, who served as the Combined Forces Command chief from 2008-2011, urged the young leader to take a different path from his father, Kim Jong-il, to become a member of the international community, saying the communist state has not made substantive changes despite signs of economic reforms to develop the moribund economy and raise living standards.
The retired general, who now consults for several think tanks in Washington D.C., said the need to strengthen Seoul's missile capability took on new urgency after Pyongyang's latest long-range rocket launch in April, though it failed.
"He (Kim) has continued to advocate the military first policy. Considering the rhetoric that has come out from North Korea, military threats have been very strong since he's been the leader of North Korea," the 60-year-old said. "I think South Korea is moving in the right direction of increasing missile capability. I think it should be continued and be increased even more.
Following the North's rocket launch, Seoul's defense ministry has revised a mid-term budget plan to spend 2.7 trillion won (US$2.3 billion) on buying hundreds of home-built ballistic missiles and other weapons in the next five years to target North Korea's nuclear weapons facilities and missile bases.
The U.S. stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, and guarantees a nuclear "umbrella" in case of any atomic attack. In return, Seoul maintains a 300-kilometer and 500-kilogram limit on its missile capabilities under a guideline.
With growing consensus to expand the range, talks have been underway between Seoul and Washington to increase the missile range and payload.
When asked how the missile guideline should be revised, Sharp refused to go into detail, saying "a holistic perspective" approach should be taken considering South Korea's military, diplomatic and economic relations with other countries.
Regarding conservative groups' call for the delay of Seoul's plan to retake wartime operational control of its troops in 2015, Sharp said the issue should be discussed by the next government of the two nations to make it less swayed by politics.
"I know there are many groups that are calling for this (operational control transition) not to happen in 2015," Sharp said. "My thought is that this ought to be a point of discussion very early in the next president of Korea and the next United States president's term of office."
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's single five-year term ends in February next year, while U.S. President Barack Obama is running in the November race for another four years in office.
Under a 2007 deal, Seoul had been scheduled to take over wartime control of its armed forces from Washington in 2012, but the two sides agreed to delay the transfer by three years after the North's sinking of a South Korean warship in March 2010.
The U.S. has held wartime command of South Korean troops since the beginning of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. Seoul regained peacetime control of its military in 1994.
"Very often, it has been politicized. I think it's not the right way," he said. "I think discussing it in the early term will not make it political because it will be far away from an election."
Sharp tried to dispel worries among South Koreans that the U.S. will "abandon" Korea upon the transition of the wartime operational control, saying U.S. troops will continue to fulfill the obligation to maintain peace in the region.
"It is staying in the foreseeable future. The thought that the U.S. will leave without transition: the thought is wrong," he said. "I'm very confident that the U.S. will live up to those obligations, now or in the future, regardless of the situation."
Touching on the U.S.'s growing emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region, he expressed concern over the growing territorial disputes that could dampen military, diplomatic and economic relations between the major Asian nations, including Japan and China.
"The U.S. has been very clear on the fact that territorial issues need to be resolved without gunfire," he said. "They need to be resolved peacefully by people coming to the table and working together diplomatically."
Available at: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2012/09/205_119828.html
2. North Korea Introduces Law Protecting Nuclear Safety
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North Korea reportedly adopted a law last year that aims to ensure the safety of the country's nuclear facilities.
The Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported Thursday that the standing committee of the Supreme People's Assembly adopted the Nuclear Waste Disposal Act last August.
The act covers rules regarding the safe management of radioactive materials and nuclear facilities, radioactive waste disposal, and the monitoring of radiation levels.
The move seems to be in response to growing international concerns over North Korea's reactors. Under the law, the country must also assess the potential harm the reactors may have on the environment before initiating their construction.
Available at: http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=136956&code=Ne2&category=2
The North Korean government has made considerable advancements during construction of a light-water nuclear reactor, the IAEA said.
Last month, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists stated the completion of a tunnel near the site of North Korea's first nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009 suggested Pyongyang might be preparing for another test.
Analysts at IHS Jane's Defense Week told The New York Times that North Korea made good progress on the construction of a light-water uranium reactor.
Enriched uranium could find its way into the North Korea nuclear arsenal. The country's first nuclear tests were believed to have used plutonium devices.
International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano said the IAEA was concerned about the pace of nuclear development in North Korea, Russian news agency ITAR-Tass reports.
Without access to the country's light-water reactor, Amano said it was difficult to make assessments about the condition of the facility.
Missile tests by North Korea coincided with the country's first two nuclear tests. Nuclear concerns were raised following an April effort by Pyongyang to use a long-range rocket to send a satellite into orbit.
Available at: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2012/09/11/North-Korea-nuclear-progress-worries-IAEA/UPI-98601347376488/
1. Nuclear Sector Seeks to Regain Trust after Fukushima
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The global nuclear industry, traumatised by Japan's Fukushima accident 18 months ago, needs to redefine itself to regain public trust and better cooperate to improve safety, senior executives of the sector said on Thursday.
The worst such accident in 25 years laid bare the industry's dependence on public confidence as governments in countries such as Germany, Switzerland and Belgium promised their voters to pull out of nuclear energy as soon as possible.
Although the order books of large nuclear companies were hit hard after the disaster, with forecasts for new nuclear capacity projecting a fall by 12 percent by 2020, other major economies are pushing ahead with nuclear newbuilds despite Fukushima.
"We need to make a collective effort to restore our reputation and to rebuild the nuclear brand," Luc Oursel, chief executive of France's flagship nuclear reactor producer Areva , told an industry conference in London.
With almost 80 percent of its domestic electricity generated from nuclear power plants, France has the world's highest share of nuclear energy and Britain, China as well as the United States are planning to build several new nuclear power stations.
Areva is contracted to build nuclear reactors in many sites around the world.
Oursel said it was more important than ever to be open about nuclear operations and that the industry as a whole should support colleagues in Japan to restore public confidence after one of the country's Fukushima nuclear reactor leaked radiation following a tsunami in March 2011.
Japan has seen widespread anti-nuclear protests in recent weeks as it decides whether to ditch the technology forever.
Fukushima and events such as the recent discovery of cracks in a Belgian nuclear reactor have dented the public's confidence in the safety of nuclear power.
"What came down at Fukushima was more than a seawall. March 11 was an error," said Ric Perez, president and chief operating officer of Westinghouse, also a leading nuclear company and majority-owned by Japan's Toshiba.
Perez said it was the sector's obligation to continue to improve safety and address points of contention as a collective industry rather than companies from different countries.
Even though the impact of Fukushima was undeniable, the global financial crisis is also taking its toll on new nuclear project development as customers find it hard to raise finances to cover the high upfront costs, Kirill Komarov, deputy director general of Russia's Rosatom, Russia's state nuclear power corporation, told the conference.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises industrialised countries on energy, says nuclear energy is important as a low carbon source of power to support the rise of renewable power generation supply.
Available at: http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/09/13/nuclear-industry-idINL5E8KD5MZ20120913
2. Israel Denies Blocking Jordan Nuclear Programme
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An Israeli official on Wednesday dismissed charges by Jordan's King Abdullah II that the Jewish state was trying to foil his country's nuclear energy programme, calling the accusation "a hollow excuse."
"Every time that we were consulted on this we adopted a positive approach," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"The king's accusations sound (like) a hollow excuse," he added. "We were consulted and we always said that of course if this was done according to NPT regulations and supervision and everything, then fine, we have no objection."
Israel, the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, is not a signatory to the international Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which regulates nuclear activity.
Jordan's king levelled the accusations at Israel earlier on Wednesday in an exclusive interview with AFP.
"Strong opposition to Jordan's nuclear energy programme is coming from Israel," he said.
"A Jordanian delegation would approach a potential partner, and one week later an Israeli delegation would be there, asking our interlocutors not to support Jordan's nuclear energy bid," Abdullah said during the interview at his palace.
Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.
Jordan, which imports 95 percent of its energy needs, is struggling to find alternatives to unstable Egyptian gas supplies, which normally cover 80 percent of the kingdom's power production.
Since 2011, the pipeline supplying gas from Egypt to both Israel and Jordan has been attacked 14 times, with a consequent disruption of supplies.
Available at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i7Y6k1YbOUWrGwbREjyLXFhsX6-w?docId=CNG.1476c9a50ef002a2a8738bf599960fbe.c1
Japan's prime minister hinted Wednesday that the government will announce a gradual abandonment of nuclear power when it issues a new energy policy this week. News reports said the Cabinet has already agreed to the new policy.
Yoshihiko Noda said during a debate among party leadership candidates that he understands that most Japanese support a nuclear-free country. He also said he would take into account his ruling party's recommendation last week that Japan's dependency on nuclear energy be phased out by the 2030s.
"There could be different views about how we can achieve that goal, and by factoring those into consideration our party last week proposed we should aim for a nuclear-free society. I must take this seriously," Noda said during the debate.
He said the new policy, expected by end of the week, would be a major shift from Japan's decades-long advocacy of nuclear power.
Japanese media reported Wednesday that Noda and key Cabinet ministers have agreed that the new energy policy will include an abandonment of nuclear power by the 2030s, mainly by retiring aging reactors and not replacing them.
Based on the party proposal, the new policy would include a 40-year cap on reactor lifespans, no construction of new nuclear reactors, and strict safety checks before any reactors are restarted. It also says Japan should make greater use of renewable energy and undertake greater conservation efforts, such as using smart grids.
Japan has been discussing revisions to its energy policy in the wake of last year's disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant set off by a massive earthquake and tsunami. Before the accident, resource-poor Japan relied on nuclear power for one-third of its energy needs and planned to raise that to 50 percent by 2030.
The crisis fueled doubts about nuclear safety and caused a loss of public trust in the government and nuclear industry.
The growing anti-nuclear sentiment, including regular mass protests, made it difficult for the government and plant operators to restart reactors idled for inspections, and by early May all 50 Japanese reactors had gone offline.
Noda allowed two to restart in July to avoid power shortages during the hot summer months. Noda at that time stressed that the startup was crucial for Japan's economy and energy needs.
Noda's government has faced strong resistance to changes in the nuclear policy from business leaders and utility operators who are concerned about high energy costs. Towns hosting the 50 reactors — usually poor, remote fishing villages hungry for subsidies — also have complained of a loss of income and jobs.
Aomori prefecture in northern Japan, which has served as a nuclear waste processing hub, has threatened to return spent fuel to nuclear plants across the country. Noda said officials are continuing efforts to gain the prefecture's understanding of the need to change the energy policy.
Available at: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-09-12/japan-pm-hints-at-nuclear-free-energy-policy
4. UK Nuclear Delay May Hit Energy Security - Engineers
(for personal use only)
Any delays to building the UK's first new nuclear plant since the 1990s could hold up other atomic projects and deepen the country's dependence on potentially insecure fuel imports, a panel of British civil engineers said on Tuesday.
The engineers told British parliamentarians they were worried about threats to the timetable for EDF Energy's planned nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in the English county of Somerset.
France's EDF, the largest nuclear power producer operating in Britain, originally said it wanted to open the plant by 2018. But after Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, the company said the approval for the reactor design has been held up by regulators and the start date has slipped.
When asked whether any delay would hit Britain's energy security - its ability to rely on secure, close-at-hand energy supplies - one member of the panel, John Earp, replied: "Yes ... If there is a significant slip (to EDF Energy's start-up date) then the alternative is probably a move toward gas."
That extra demand would likely need to be met by foreign supplies, Earp, a fellow at the Institution of Civil Engineers, told the British parliament's energy and climate change committee.
A significant delay at Hinkley could also affect other nuclear projects, threatening government plans to have more new nuclear plants up and running by 2025, the panel added.
"We have taken the view ... we would need a fair wind behind us to meet the 2025 (goals)," said Alasdair Reisner, director of external affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association.
Companies planning to build new nuclear plants in Britain are hoping to generate about 16 gigawatts of new capacity by 2025, a goal the government says will help the country meet its emission reduction targets and cut its reliance on fluctuating gas prices.
Due to the UK's dwindling gas supplies the country has already become a net importer of the fuel, leaving the country dependent on supplies from sometimes remote and politically unstable regions.
Gas currently produces around 20 percent of the UK's power. Another 20 percent comes nuclear power stations but new plants are needed as older stations are shutting down.
EDF has already announced details of the planned Hinkley plant but has said it will make a final decision on whether to go ahead with the project before the end of the year.
The company also said it was open to the idea of seeking investment partners project after its half-year results showed its debt levels had soared to almost 40 billion euros ($51.14 billion)
Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/11/uk-nuclear-edf-idUSL5E8KBCT520120911
5. Indonesia Hopes to Build First Nuclear Power Plant in West Kalimantan
The Jakarta Globe
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The central government has expressed interest in constructing a nuclear power plant in West Kalimantan, citing the island large supplies of uranium and geologic stability, a senior official said here on Monday.
South Kalimantan Governor Rudy Ariffin, who is also the head of the Forum for Kalimantan Development Acceleration and Revitalization, said representatives of the central government and governors of Kalimantan discussed the issue in a recent meeting.
The central government was represented by officials from the office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, among others, according to Rudy.
“Kalimantan is a fairly rich region; not only in coal and gold, but also in uranium in West Kalimantan,” Rudy said, adding that the plant could provide electricity for the entire Kalimantan region.
The plan is part of the government’s efforts to implement the Master plan for Acceleration and Expansion of the Indonesian Economic Development (MP3EI).
A proposal to build a nuclear plant in West Kalimantan was first offered by the secretary of the West Kalimantan administration, M. Zeet Hamdy Assovie, last year.
“The West Kalimantan governor has invited Batan [the National Atomic Energy Agency], leading to the conclusion that West Kalimantan is the best place to develop nuclear power because we have the raw materials.” Zeet was quoted as saying by news portal jpnn.com in December.
He added Kalimantan was not part of the so-called “Ring of Fire,” unlike most other regions in Indonesia, and thus was not susceptible to earthquakes and tsunamis.
Indonesian environmental group Walhi, however, was quick to reject the proposal, citing the danger of leaked reactors, even in developed countries like Japan.
An official with Walhi’s West Kalimantan chapter, Hendrikus Adam, said the region should not feel the need to build a nuclear plant just because the nearby Malaysian state of Sarawak had announced a plan to commence with nuclear plant construction in 2014.
Indonesia has been operating three nuclear reactors for research purposes in Tangerang, Bandung and Yogyakarta, but it has never operated a nuclear power plant.
The original plan to build a plant in Jepara, Central Java, met strong resistance from local residents and environmental groups.
Available at: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/indonesia-hopes-to-build-first-nuclear-power-plant-in-west-kalimantan/543635
1. Canada Hopes N-Deal Talks to End Soon, Says Open to Gas Supply
(for personal use only)
Making it clear that it has no concern over nuclear proliferation from India, energy-rich Canada today hoped for early conclusion of administrative discussion over the civil nuclear deal signed in 2010 and said it can be a stable supplier of natural gas.
"We have no concerns with respect to proliferation. These concerns and issues are in the past... I am confident that these discussions will be concluded early," Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said here following his meeting with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.
Baird said Canada was "pleased" with the civil nuclear deal and that it certainly does not have any "additional concerns" with respect to these discussions or agreements that it has with the US or the European Union.
Ending a 36-year-old freeze in nuclear cooperation, Canada had in 2010 signed a landmark civil nuclear deal with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assuring the Canadian leadership that imported uranium and atomic technology will not be used for "any unintended purpose."
Canada is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
The civil nuclear deal, energy and food security, economic ties besides greater cooperation in counter terrorism and security prominently figured in the discussion the two Ministers had.
Describing the nuclear deal as a "milestone" in Indo-Canadian ties, Krishna said there was "nothing" that is holding back the deal.
"The two governments are in the process of working out arrangements, details, which is being negotiated. These are matters of details, which is being worked out in consultations ...It is being negotiated. We look forward to completion of these consultations," Krishna said.
Official sources said the discussions are merely administrative in nature and there were no hiccups or fresh conditions.
"We also looked forward to early completion of negotiations on appropriate arrangements for the bilateral Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement," Krishna said.
Baird said, "We look forward for enhancing our cooperation of providing peaceful use of nuclear energy."
Canada, which is the world's third largest natural gas producer and exporter, and also has the third largest proven reserves of oil, also extended a helping hand to India, which is looking at all avenues to meet its growing energy needs.
Available at: http://www.business-standard.com/generalnews/news/canada-hopes-n-deal-talks-to-end-soon-says-open-to-gas-supply/55492/
2. Need to Keep Working on Parts of Indo-US Nuclear Deal: Nancy Powell
The Times of India
(for personal use only)
Noting that there is a need to keep working on parts of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, US ambassador to India Nancy Powell hoped Americans would be able to compete on a level playing field for creation of nuclear energy projects in India.
"We need to celebrate parts of it (deal) and we need to keep working on parts of it," Powell said when asked to comment on the "big hoopla" that was created (over the deal) during President George W Bush's time and if we should be celebrating yet.
The ambassador was speaking at an interaction organized by the Asia Society here last night.
"The part for the Americans that we need to keep, I would say there are two parts we need to keep working on. Our hope was that India would join many of the international agreements that were on trade and nuclear technology and products. That hasn't happened yet. It is in process. It is moving a little more slowly than we hoped but it is a part of what we would have hoped would come out of the civilian nuclear deal."
"The other piece is the hope that Americans would be able to compete on a level playing field for creation of nuclear energy in projects in India. And there are some things that I still think are in the way, they are roadblocks. They are not great big skyscraper tall walls but they are (still) roadblocks. And we would like to get them down, at least the speed bumps initially and then get the surface flattened out," she said.
Powell said these are "some very technical agreements that we hope can conclude in the next few months over the nuclear regulatory people that are here in Mumbai and in this area."
Available at: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-09-11/india/33761667_1_india-nancy-powell-parts-international-agreements
3. Russia’s Rosatom Files 1 Billion-Euro Claim Against Bulgaria
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Rosatom Corp., Russia’s state-run nuclear company, increased a claim against Bulgaria’s National Electricity Co. to 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) for work on a canceled nuclear power plant project on the Danube.
Atomstroyexport ZAO, a unit of Rosatom, increased its claim from 58 million euros filed with the International Court of Arbitration in Paris in 2011 to cover construction work and production costs of the two canceled nuclear reactors, the Moscow-based utility said on its website today.
Bulgaria canceled the project to build a 2,000-megawatt nuclear power plant at Belene in northern Bulgaria on March 28 after failing to agree on its cost and find Western investors. Bulgaria filed a 61 million-euro claim against Rosatom with an arbitration court in Geneva 11 months ago, for the purchase of old equipment.
Atomstroyexport was contracted in 2005 to build the plant for an initial 4 billion euros. The project stalled because of a lack of funds and a dispute about how much costs should increase because of the delay.
The Fukushima accident after the March earthquake in Japan, raised costs for improved safety measures and risk insurance by an extra $2.1 billion, according to a report by the Balkans and Black Sea Studies Center in Sofia.
National Electricity Co. spokeswoman Hristina Stoyanova was not immediately available for comment.
Available at: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-09-11/russia-s-rosatom-files-1-billion-euro-claim-against-bulgaria
4. Russian Firm to Supply Equipment for Chinese Nuclear Power Plant
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HMS Group, a Russian pump manufacturer and provider of flow control solutions, said it has been awarded a $22.5 million contract by China Nuclear Energy Industry Corp., on behalf of Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corp., to supply high/low pressure emergency injection pumps, spray water pumps and intermediate cooling water pumps for Units 3 and 4 at the Jiangsu Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant (JTNPP) in China.
Launched in 2007, the JTNPP is one of the largest industrial projects between China and Russia, according to HMS. HMS has also supplied a set of engineered pumps for the Units 1 and 2 of the JTNPP.
Available at: http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2012/09/russian-firm-to-supply-equipment-for-chinese-nuclear-power-plant.html
5. Westinghouse Enters Partnership to Potentially Deliver Nuclear Power Plants in Czech Republic
(for personal use only)
Westinghouse Electric Co. on Sept. 11 said it has entered a partnership with Czech construction and installation company Hutní montáže a.s, in preparation for the potential construction of Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power plants in the Czech Republic and regionally.
Westinghouse has submitted a tender to Czech utility ČEZ for the construction of two AP1000 reactors at the Temelín nuclear power plant site.
If Westinghouse is awarded the AP1000 project in the Czech Republic, Hutní montáže would be responsible for performing the vast majority of the mechanical installation and corresponding construction testing, including assembly and installation of the containment vessel (CV). Hutní montáže could also provide heavy lifting cranes and rigging to offload, transport on-site and set components into the plant, including modules, the CV, and major nuclear steam supply system (NSSS) and balance of plant equipment.
Available at: http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2012/09/westinghouse-enters-partnership-to-potentially-deliver-nuclear-power-plants-to-czech-republic.html
2. TEPCO Tightens N-Monitoring / 3rd-Party Panel to Reexamine Crisis, Make Safety Recommendations
The Daily Yomiuri
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Tokyo Electric Power Co. has established a third-party supervisory committee to review its nuclear plant operations and strengthen its monitoring functions.
The panel, the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee, was set up Tuesday to present proposals about safety measures at TEPCO's nuclear power plants to the company's top management.
The committee will reexamine the cause of the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and work to improve the transparency of its nuclear power divisions, which were criticized for being shut off from the outside.
By toughening its monitoring systems, TEPCO aims to reactivate reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, as doing so is essential for the company's rehabilitation.
TEPCO President Naomi Hirose said at a press conference Tuesday, "Unless we take measures to prevent accidents in the future, we aren't qualified to operate [nuclear power plants]."
TEPCO Chairman Kazuhiko Shimokobe added, "We'll do our best to move away from being a [closed] community or 'nuclear village.'"
Shimokobe is a member of the monitoring committee, which will hold its first meeting in early October.
The new committee has invited members from both home and abroad, including a European nuclear expert and Dale Klein, former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Klein is known for his achievements in improving U.S. nuclear power plants in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. In 2009 he made electric companies implement strict safety measures in light of the attacks.
Kenichi Ohmae, a management consultant, was formerly a nuclear plant engineer at Hitachi Ltd. and has compiled his own investigation report about the accident at the Fukushima plant.
Ohmae is also a close adviser of Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and is known for having persuaded Hashimoto to accept the reactivation of reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi nuclear power plant.
Masafumi Sakurai is a former superintending prosecutor of the Nagoya High Public Prosecutors Office and also served as a member of the Diet's Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission.
The Diet commission called into question TEPCO's responsibility for the accident by suggesting, for example, the Fukushima plant might have been damaged by last year's Great East Japan Earthquake.
Another group will be established under the third-party committee, called the Nuclear Reform Special Task Force. The group will include about 30 officials led by Hirose and is to compile a reform plan by the end of this year.
The plan will likely incorporate results of the reexamination of the Fukushima crisis, based on reports from the government committee and Diet commission, and include safety measures for the future.
TEPCO set up the outside committee partly because its prior in-house investigation committee's report was criticized.
TEPCO's then executive vice president chaired the committee that submitted the previous report on the accident. It insisted the size of the tsunami was unpredictable, which drew harsh criticism from many who claimed it tried only to defend the company.
Currently, more than half of the members on TEPCO's board of directors are from outside the firm. Therefore a company executive emphasized that objectivity is guaranteed because the third-party directors "will closely monitor [the nuclear plants] in cooperation with the third-party committee."
However, as some committee members are from outside Japan, meetings will be held only once every two months. The key issue remains how strictly the committee will be able to supervise TEPCO's operations.
Available at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/business/T120912003731.htm
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