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Nuclear News - 9/7/2012
PGS Nuclear News, September 7, 2012
Compiled By: Pia Ulrich


A.  Iran
    1. Russia Warns Against Attacking Iran over Nuclear Fears, Steve Gutterman, Associated Press, Reuters (9/6/2012)
    2. IAEA Shows Diplomats Images of Suspected Iran Nuclear Clean-Up, Fredrik Dahl, Reuters (9/5/2012)
B.  North Korea
    1. S. Korea, China Keeping 'Close Watch' on Nuclear Reactor Progress in NK, The Korea Times (9/7/2012)
    2. N. Korea Accuses IAEA of Aggravating Nuke Standoff, AFP (9/5/2012)
    3. S. Korea's Top Nuclear Envoy Heads to Beijing for Talks on N. Korea, Yonhap News Agency (9/5/2012)
C.  Nuclear Energy
    1. Japan Risks Angering Both Sides with Energy Mix Plan, Linda Sieg, Reuters (9/7/2012)
    2. Won’t Stop Fuel Loading at Nuclear Plant, Says Court, The Times of India (9/7/2012)
    3. KGHM, 3 Utilities to Share Cost of 1st Polish Nuclear Project, Reuters (9/4/2012)
D.  Nuclear Safety & Security
    1. Taliban Threat: Nuclear Site in DG Khan Cordoned Off, Abdul Manan, The Express Tribune (9/6/2012)
    2. Incident at EDF's Nuclear Plant Over, Employees Back Home, Reuters (9/5/2012)
    3. Evidence of Possible Cheating on Security Tests Found at Y-12, Frank Munger, KnoxNews (9/5/2012)
E.  Nuclear Cooperation
    1. Rosatom Wants to Participate in Polish Nuclear Project, Warsaw Business Journal (9/7/2012)
    2. IAEA Experts Visit Turkey's Nuclear Reactor Site, MENAFN (9/7/2012)
F.  Links of Interest
    1. NRC Staff to Review Nuclear Reactor Waste Storage Rules, Reuters (9/6/2012)
    2. US Nuclear Bombs Will Remain in Germany, The Local (9/5/2012)
    3. Tochigi Prefecture Proposed as Radioactive Waste Disposal Site, Adam Westlake, The Japan Daily Press (9/4/2012)
    4. Notice of Expected Date of Initial Decision, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (8/27/2012)



A.  Iran

1.
Russia Warns Against Attacking Iran over Nuclear Fears
Steve Gutterman, Associated Press
Reuters
9/6/2012
(for personal use only)


Russia has starkly warned Israel and the United States against attacking Iran, saying Moscow sees no evidence that Tehran's nuclear program is aimed at developing weapons, the Interfax news agency reported on Thursday.

"We warn those who are no strangers to military solutions ... that this would be harmful, literally disastrous for regional stability," Interfax quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying.

An attack on Iran "would set off deep shocks in the security and economic spheres that would reverberate far beyond the boundaries of the Middle East region," Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

Russian officials have issued similar warnings in the past, but Ryabkov's remarks appeared to underscore Moscow's concern about the possibility that Israel might attack Iranian nuclear facilities.

Heightened Israeli rhetoric about the facilities, which Western powers believe are part of a program to develop a nuclear weapons capability, has stoked speculation that Israel may attack Iran before the U.S. presidential election in November.

Ryabkov said there were no indications of a military nuclear program and suggested monitoring by the U.N. nuclear agency was a strong guarantee.

"We, as before, see no signs that there is a military dimension to Iran's nuclear program. No signs," Interfax quoted Ryabkov - Russia's point man for diplomacy on Iran's nuclear program - as saying.

"We see something different - that there is nuclear material ... in Iran that is under the control of inspectors, specialists of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"This nuclear material is not being shifted to military needs, this is officially confirmed by the (IAEA)."

His remarks appeared to be at odds with mounting concern voiced by the U.N. atomic watchdog about possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program.

The IAEA said last week that Iran had doubled the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges in an underground bunker in a few months, showing it continued to expand its nuclear program despite sanctions and the threat of an Israeli attack. The new machines are not yet operating, it added.

It also said that in the last decade, it had become "increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military related organizations".

Nuclear proliferation expert Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the International Institute of Strategic Studies think-tank and a former senior U.S. state department official, said that on one level Ryabkov's remarks were in line with Western views.

"If ... he means (Russia sees) no evidence that Iran is aiming to cross the threshold from capability to weapons production, then Ryabkov's statement is the same as the collective view of the United States and its European allies.

"But Ryabkov goes too far in giving Iran the benefit of the doubt when he says Russia sees no signs of a military dimension ... Maybe he means that the evidence is not yet confirmed. But there are certainly ample 'signs'," he said.

"Surely Russian intelligence is not so blind."

While Russia is a partner of the United States and four other powers in diplomatic efforts to ensure Tehran does not acquire nuclear weapons, it says the West is undermining those efforts with sanctions and the threat of attack.

"In recent times the tendency to use sanctions to achieve aims that are beyond reach in principle by means of pressure has become a passion that ... politicians on both sides of the Atlantic cannot overcome," Interfax quoted Ryabkov as saying.

A permanent U.N. Security Council member with veto power, Russia says it opposes further sanctions beyond the measures approved in four Security Council resolutions, the most recent in 2010.

Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/06/us-nuclear-iran-russia-idUSBRE88507K20120906


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2.
IAEA Shows Diplomats Images of Suspected Iran Nuclear Clean-Up
Fredrik Dahl
Reuters
9/5/2012
(for personal use only)


The U.N. nuclear watchdog showed a series of satellite images on Wednesday that added to suspicions of clean-up activity at an Iranian military site it wants to inspect, Western diplomats said, but Tehran's envoy dismissed the presentation.

The pictures, displayed during a closed-door briefing for member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), indicated determined efforts in recent months to remove any incriminating evidence at the Parchin site, the diplomats said.

In the latest picture, from mid-August, a building where the IAEA believes Iran carried out explosives tests - possibly a decade ago - relevant for nuclear weapons development had been shrouded in what appeared to be pink tarpaulin, they said.

"It was pretty compelling," a senior Western diplomat said about the briefing by IAEA Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts and Assistant Director General Rafael Grossi.

"The last image was very clear. You could see the pink," the envoy said.

The purpose of covering the building could be to conceal further clean-up work from overhead satellites, according to a U.S. think-tank, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).

The IAEA said in a confidential report last week that "extensive activities" undertaken at Parchin since February - including the demolition of some buildings and removal of earth - would significantly hamper its investigation there, if and when it was allowed access to the facility southeast of Tehran.

Iran, which denies Western accusations that it seeking to develop the capability to make nuclear bombs, says Parchin is a conventional military site.

Iran's envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, suggested the activities "claimed to be made in the vicinity of these so-called locations which are identified" by the IAEA had nothing to do with the U.N. agency's investigation.

"Merely having a photo from up there, a satellite imagery ... this is not the way the agency should do its professional job," he told reporters after the IAEA's briefing.

"Everybody should be careful not to damage (the) credibility of the agency," Soltanieh added.

Iran says it must first reach a broader agreement with the IAEA on how the Vienna-based U.N. agency should conduct its investigation into alleged nuclear bomb research in the Islamic state before it can possibly be allowed access to Parchin.

Last week's IAEA report said "no concrete results" had been reached in a series of high-level meetings with Iran over the past eight months on such a framework accord.

Highlighting one of the main sticking points, Soltanieh said Iran must see the documents which form the basis for the IAEA's concerns of possible military dimensions to the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme.

Diplomats say the IAEA is not able to hand over some of those files - which it is believed to have received from foreign intelligence services - because of confidentiality reasons.

"They have to deliver the documents," Soltanieh said, making clear that Iran could not otherwise agree to a deal. "Without documents we cannot prove whether this is baseless or not baseless. We should have the documents."

The IAEA report also said Iran had doubled the number of centrifuges at an underground uranium enrichment facility in the last few months, in defiance of international demands that it suspends the work.

Refined uranium can be used to fuel nuclear power plants, which is Iran's stated aim, or provide the explosive core for a nuclear warhead if processed further, which the West and Israel suspect is Tehran's ultimate aim.

Available at: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/09/05/uk-nuclear-iran-iaea-idUKBRE88415M20120905


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B.  North Korea

1.
S. Korea, China Keeping 'Close Watch' on Nuclear Reactor Progress in NK
The Korea Times
9/7/2012
(for personal use only)


South Korea and China are keeping a "close watch" on the progress in North Korea's light-water atomic reactor project that experts say may help expand the North's nuclear weapons capacity, a high-ranking Seoul official said Friday.

Seoul and Beijing shared concerns over the swift progress North Korea has made in building an experimental light-water reactor at its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, when chief nuclear envoys from the two sides held talks in Beijing this week, said the foreign ministry official with direct knowledge of the talks.

Lim Sung-nam, Seoul's top envoy to the six-party talks aimed at ending the North's nuclear weapons program, met with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei and other officials during his two-day visit to Beijing this week to discuss "recent developments in North Korea's nuclear issues," the ministry said earlier.

South Korea is concerned that the North's reactor under construction might be a cover to stockpile enriched uranium, a fissile material used to make bombs, although North Korea claims the project is for producing electricity.

"During the talks in Beijing, the two sides exchanged views that they are keeping a close watch on the North's new light-water atomic reactor," the official said on the condition of anonymity.

"But, both sides don't see any serious situations with regard to the reactor," he said, confirming that the issue was a major topic in talks between Lim and Wu.

Late last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency said North Korea has made "significant" progress in the light-water reactor project. Citing satellite imagery, the U.N. agency said the North has put a dome over the facility.

The official said North Korea also installed "cooling pumps" in the reactor.

Asked whether North Korea could complete building the reactor with its own technology, the official declined to answer.

South Korea and China also see "no immediate sign" of another nuclear test by North Korea, the official said.

Concerns persist that North Korea might carry out a third underground nuclear test after its much-hyped launch of a long-range missile fizzled in April. Media outlets have reported the North appears to have completed preparations for such a nuclear test.

North Korea's previous launches of long-range missiles in 2006 and 2009 were followed by nuclear tests. The international community has warned that the North, already under U.N. sanctions for the nuclear tests, will face tougher sanctions if it goes ahead with another test.

The six-party talks, which involve the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan, have been dormant since late 2008.

Available at: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2012/09/120_119357.html


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2.
N. Korea Accuses IAEA of Aggravating Nuke Standoff
AFP
9/5/2012
(for personal use only)


North Korea on Wednesday accused the UN atomic agency of aggravating a dispute over its nuclear programme by siding with the United States.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "aggravated the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula pursuant to the US hostile policy towards the DPRK (North Korea)," the North's foreign ministry said.

"This deprived the IAEA of the qualifications to intervene in (North Korea's) nuclear activities," it said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

IAEA last week called the North's nuclear programme a "serious concern", pointing to significant progress in recent months in building a new light-water reactor.

The North says the reactor is necessary to meet its energy needs.

The ministry also questioned IAEA's role in resolving a dispute over the North's nuclear programme.

"The DPRK, which legitimately accessed nukes to cope with the US persistent hostile policy, has its own standard on which IAEA's function is not workable as the function mainly deals with non nuclear states," it said.

The ministry said the IAEA had not voiced concerns over any other nuclear states, indicating its attitude towards Pyongyang.

The North has been developing nuclear weapons for decades. Its official position has been that it needs them for self-defence against a US nuclear threat.

Pyongyang disclosed in November 2010 an apparently operational uranium enrichment plant, in addition to its plutonium stockpile.

Available at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gSehfb_llxieghT00oZnfhZcW8Rw?docId=CNG.e9dcb6d88378f8d5b28bdc2593d5e39f.6b1


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3.
S. Korea's Top Nuclear Envoy Heads to Beijing for Talks on N. Korea
Yonhap News Agency
9/5/2012
(for personal use only)


South Korea's top nuclear envoy left for China Wednesday to discuss North Korea's nuclear weapons program, after a U.N. nuclear watchdog cited major progress in the construction of a light water atomic reactor in the North.

Lim Sung-nam, Seoul's chief negotiator to six-party talks aimed at ending the North's nuclear ambitions, will meet with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei and other Beijing officials during his two-day trip.

Speaking before departure for Beijing, Lim told Yonhap News Agency by telephone he "will jointly assess the current situation on the Korean Peninsula with the Chinese side."

The two sides will also hold consultations on "how to cope with North Korea's nuclear issue and how to maintain the situation on the Korean Peninsula," Lim said.

The six-party talks, which involve the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan, have been dormant since late 2008.

Concerns persist that North Korea might carry out a third underground nuclear test after its much-hyped launch of a long-range missile fizzled in April. Media outlets have reported the North appears to have completed preparations for such a nuclear test.

North Korea's previous launches of long-range missiles in 2006 and 2009 were followed by nuclear tests. The international community has warned that the North, already under U.N. sanctions for the nuclear tests, will face tougher sanctions if it goes ahead with another test.

Late last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency said North Korea had made "significant" progress in building a light water nuclear reactor at its key nuclear complex in Yongbyon, citing satellite images.

South Korea is concerned the nuclear reactor under construction could be a cover to stockpile enriched uranium used in building nuclear weapons, although North Korea claims it is for producing electricity.

Available at: http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2012/09/05/77/0301000000AEN20120905002900315F.HTML


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C.  Nuclear Energy

1.
Japan Risks Angering Both Sides with Energy Mix Plan
Linda Sieg
Reuters
9/7/2012
(for personal use only)


Efforts by Japan's government to craft an energy mix that will respond to growing anti-nuclear sentiment among voters after the Fukushima crisis without alienating powerful pro-atomic energy interests look in danger of satisfying neither side.

The government is expected to announce as early as Monday an energy portfolio plan to replace a 2010 program that had called for boosting nuclear power's share of electricity supply to more than half from nearly 30 percent before the crisis.

That was abandoned after last year's disaster, the worst atomic accident in 25 years, in which an earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns and crippled the Fukushima power plant.

Kyodo news agency, citing a draft report, said on Friday that the government would seek to cut Japan's reliance on nuclear power to 15 percent by 2030 by limiting the operation of existing reactors to 40 years and allowing no new construction.

But the draft gave no timetable for giving up nuclear power completely, suggesting discussions were continuing, Kyodo said.

Energy policy has become a political football ahead of a general election widely expected within months that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Democratic Party is likely to lose.

"The timing is very bad for a practical debate. It is being conducted in the midst of political maneuvering," said Takeo Kikkawa, an economics professor at Hitotsubashi University.

Whatever the government decides, some analysts say the policy may well end up more of a campaign pledge than a program set in stone. The Democrats are likely to be thrown out of office or forced into a coalition with their arch-rival, the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

"If the LDP gets in, all bets are off," said Jeffrey Kingston, director of Asian studies at Temple University's Japan campus, noting the party promoted nuclear power during its decades in power. "The election can be a game changer."

Support for the Democrats has sunk since they took power three years ago promising to pay more heed to the interests of consumers than companies and reduce bureaucrats' control over policy. Critics say these promises have gone unfulfilled.

Now the government is trapped between a growing grassroots anti-nuclear movement and warnings from industry that abandoning nuclear power will force up electricity prices and prompt companies to move production and jobs overseas.

Signs the government was leaning toward a target of exiting nuclear power by 2030 have galvanized the "nuclear village" nexus of utilities, bureaucrats and businesses into action.

"What is vital for future energy policy for our resource-poor country is to secure diverse energy resources, including nuclear power," the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan said in a statement on Thursday, blasting a Democratic Party proposal to exit nuclear power in the 2030s.

A decision to reduce nuclear power's share to 15 percent or less by 2030 would certainly upset Japan's business lobbies.

"If energy cannot be stably supplied at an economically efficient price, not only will the growth strategy be set back, the hollowing-out of industry and employment will be accelerated in the midst of intensified global competition," Japan's biggest business lobby, Keidanren, said in July.

All 50 nuclear reactors in Japan were shut for checks in the months after the Fukushima disaster, with only two brought back on line since to prevent possible summer power shortages.

The government estimated this week that abandoning nuclear power immediately would mean that importing fuel costs for power generation would rise by 3.1 trillion yen ($39 billion) a year.

A 15 percent solution would also fall far short of the demands of anti-nuclear campaigners. Noda's decision to restart the two reactors was a key factor in triggering demonstrations outside his office.

"Switching reactors back on and extending their lifespans for decades will create more unnecessary risk for Japan's population, its businesses, and the national economy," Hisayo Takada of environmental group Greenpeace Japan said on Friday.

Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/07/us-japan-nuclear-idUSBRE88609C20120907


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2.
Won’t Stop Fuel Loading at Nuclear Plant, Says Court
The Times of India
9/7/2012
(for personal use only)


The Madras high court has refused to interfere with an Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) order permitting loading of fuel in the first unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

A division bench of Justices P Jyothimani and P Devadass , dismissing a PIL filed by G Sundarrajan against the plant being granted permission , said the AERB had laid down a 17-point charter of safety norms for the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to comply with, keeping in mind the Fukushima disaster. Noting that it is the duty of the AERB to ensure that these safety conditions honoured by the NPCIL, the judges said some of them were short-term recommendations and some require longer time to comply with.

In a separate order on August 31, a bench of Justice Jyothimani and Justice M Duraiswamy had dismissed a batch of PILs seeking fresh clearance and public hearings before the plant is commissioned .

Recalling that the August 31 judgment too discussed the ample difference between Fukushima or Chernobyl and the Kudankulam project, the judges said Fukushima tragedy happened because the plant was close to the epicentre of earthquake - only 177km away. Pointing out that Kudankulam was lying at least 1,500km from the nearest offshore fault line (Andaman Nicobar-Sumatra fault) capable of triggering a quake and a tsunami, the judges said the AERB had recommended certain safety enhancements though the plant obtained all necessary clearances much before the March 11, 2011 Fukushima incident.

"As AERB is an expert body, and once such a regulatory body requires compliance of 17 recommendations, we are of the view that it is not for the court to look into that with suspicion," the judges said.

The judges admitted that the court did not have any expertise to come to a conclusion as to whether these requirements were necessary either for the purpose of fuel loading or the plant's operation. They, however, said: "When the statutory body does something in accordance with law, the presumption is always in favour of the body unless it is established that there is a malafide intention or illegality."

Available at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Wont-stop-fuel-loading-at-nuclear-plant-says-court/articleshow/16291396.cms



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3.
KGHM, 3 Utilities to Share Cost of 1st Polish Nuclear Project
Reuters
9/4/2012
(for personal use only)


Poland's top three utilities and copper miner KGHM will sign a deal on Wednesday to share the cost of building the country's first nuclear power station, their executives said, estimated at 30 billion to 50 billion zlotys ($9-15 billion).

Poland wants to develop nuclear power to reduce its dependence on highly polluting coal, but top utility PGE , which is managing the project, cannot support the entire cost on its own.

All four companies planning to sign a letter of intent on the nuclear plant are state-controlled. The huge costs and long lead times before the first power is sold make it difficult for nuclear power projects to attract private companies.

"The agreement will be signed on Wednesday, at 1600 (local time)," PGE Chief Executive Krzysztof Kilian said on Tuesday in an interview.

Executives of Tauron, Poland's second-biggest utility; Enea, the third-biggest; and miner KGHM told Reuters their companies would participate in the agreement.

It was not clear whether other companies will join in.

"The letter of intent will be a very general document, which will allow us to set up working groups dedicated to the nuclear power project. Issues concerning financing will be discussed later," Enea Chief Financial Officer Hubert Rozpedek said.

European Union member Poland aims to launch a 3 gigawatt nuclear plant by 2023 and double that capacity by 2030 in a bid to reduce reliance on coal and supply energy to its expanding economy.

Poland does not want to switch from coal to gas-fired power stations, because it would have to import gas from Russia, increasing its energy dependence on a country with which it has tense relations.

The Treasury Ministry, which oversees state assets, said earlier that it would be a good idea for state-controlled companies to cooperate in the development of a nuclear plant.

American-Japanese group GE Hitachi , France's Areva and Westinghouse, a U.S unit of Japan's Toshiba , have all signaled interest in supplying technology for the project, which has already faced a number of delays.

At the end of June, PGE delayed a tender to select the engineering company for the project, saying it had to work out financing. It is not clear when the tender, previously scheduled for the second quarter of 2012, will move forward.

Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/04/poland-nuclear-cooperation-idUSL6E8K4FR920120904


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D.  Nuclear Safety & Security

1.
Taliban Threat: Nuclear Site in DG Khan Cordoned Off
Abdul Manan
The Express Tribune
9/6/2012
(for personal use only)


It could be the first-ever security threat to a nuclear facility in Pakistan, and the Army and security forces are taking no risks.

Following ‘serious’ security threats from the homegrown Taliban, the Army and Punjab police have deployed heavy forces at one of Pakistan’s largest nuclear facilities in Dera Ghazi Khan (DG Khan), credible sources told The Express Tribune.

Besides the deployment inside and around the nuclear installation, three divisions in South Punjab have also been asked to launch a crackdown against banned outfits, sources added.

“DG Khan houses one of the largest nuclear facilities in the country, and has faced the first-ever serious security threat from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP),” said a high ranking military officer currently serving at the installation.

According to an official who works at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, a key military and civilian fuel cycle site is located 40 kilometres from DG Khan. The site comprises uranium milling and mining operations, and a uranium hexaflouride conversion plant.

Sources in the military and Punjab Police, on condition of anonymity, told The Express Tribune that the nature of threat at the nuclear installation is ‘serious,’ with an 80% chance of occurrence.
The Inter-Services Intelligence reportedly intercepted a telephone call from the TTP, wherein they were said to have been finalising their strategy for attacks on nuclear installations in DG Khan, sources said.

Three to four vehicles carrying suicide bombers are about to enter DG Khan and can strike the nuclear facilities at any time, the caller concluded according to sources. Sources said that, according to precedents, threats intercepted via phone calls often materialised in the next 72 hours. Direct threats via phone or letters often do not materialise, the source added.

DG Khan District Police Officer Chaudhry Saleem confirmed the threat, while talking to The Express Tribune, and said that DG Khan Police has received instructions from the military officer in charge at the nuclear installation to beef up security around the facility as much as possible.

The TTP started to send threats to the installation after the attacks on Kamra air base, Saleem said, adding that the police has established six new pickets around the nuclear installations and deployed heavy forces over the last 24 hours.

Sources said that a heavy contingent of military from the Multan cantonment has also reached the site and beefed up the inner cordon of the security. Military has also been deployed near the border with Balochistan.

Well-placed sources in law enforcement agencies said that when the TTP attacked Kamra air base, they announced that they would take revenge for killing of their South Punjab head Abdul Ghaffar Qaisrani by also attacking nuclear installations in DG Khan.

Sources said the DG Khan Police killed Qaisrani in an encounter in the first week of August, along with eight of his companions, almost clearing his network in the area.The police were able to trace Qaisrani after they interrogated Adnan Khosa, who attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore along with Qaisrani, sources said, adding that Khosa is currently imprisoned in DG Khan.

Qaisrani’s elimination caused a major loss to the TTP in South Punjab, and the militant outfit vowed to take revenge.

According to local politicians, the DG Khan nuclear site and adjacent areas had previously been a target of ground attacks by Baloch insurgents, but not the TTP.

TTP’s threat, therefore, is alarming for the region, they added. Officials in the counter-terrorism department, however, said there are around a dozen pockets in South Punjab, particularly near the border areas of DG Khan, where TTP is increasing its clout.

Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/432295/taliban-threat-nuclear-site-in-dg-khan-cordoned-off/


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2.
Evidence of Possible Cheating on Security Tests Found at Y-12
Frank Munger
KnoxNews
9/5/2012
(for personal use only)


Already under tremendous fire for an unprecedented security breach a month ago, the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant is now dealing with another stunning blunder.

The U.S. Department of Energy confirmed Tuesday night that inspectors from DOE's Office of Health, Safety and Security — who were at Y-12 last week to conduct a major top-to-bottom security review — found copies of security quizzes and answers and other inspection-related materials in one of the plant's patrol cars.

There were indications that the sensitive papers, which had been sent to Oak Ridge in advance by encrypted email to make sure they were valid for testing, had been copied and were being distributed to help guards perform well on the critical reviews that involve basic security knowledge, proper use of weapons, gas masks, understanding of post duties and other things.

Was this cheating or an attempt to cheat? "It certainly can be perceived that way," Bill Eckroade, the DOE official who's heading the Y-12 security review, said in a telephone interview from agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. "We're concerned about that."

Eckroade said DOE's security evaluation group had never encountered a similar situation where the actual testing documents had been copied and disseminated.

The News-Sentinel initially inquired about the allegations of cheating last Thursday, but the National Nuclear Security Administration did not respond to questions.

An official with DOE's Office of Health Safety and Security confirmed that John Garrity, the director of protective force operations for WSI-Oak Ridge, was suspended following last week's incident. WSI is the protective force subcontractor, reporting to B&W Y-12 — the overall management contractor at Y-12.

It's not clear if other personnel actions have been taken as a result.

The security inspection at Y-12 was ordered by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu following the July 28 security breach by three Plowshares protesters. It was begun Monday, Aug. 27, but the security testing was postponed after stacks of papers relating to the security inspection were found around midnight on Wednesday in the patrol car of a WSI sergeant, according to DOE.

A DOE official said the security knowledge tests planned for Y-12 guards are being revised and will be fresh and new when the inspection team returns to Oak Ridge the week of Sept. 10. Guards who had been randomly chosen to participate in the exams will also be reselected. Tests that had already been conducted will be redone to ensure valid results.

In addition, an official with the Health, Safety and Security Office said there are plans to tighten controls on the sharing of information for future security inspections at Y-12 and at the other nine Department of Energy installations around the country where Category I special nuclear materials are housed. That would include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which houses a stockpile of fissionable U-233.

B&W Y-12 issued a statement Tuesday night saying that it's considering terminating WSI's subcontract "for default" unless quick actions are taken to resolve the multiple security issues and concerns.

None of the sensitive paperwork reportedly pertained to the planned force-on-force exercises that will be conducted at Y-12 in the near future. Those activities will evaluate teams of Y-12 guards in mock exercises against an incoming team of experts.

DOE's inspection team is supposed to wrap up its Y-12 work by Sept. 21 and deliver its report to Chu a week later.

Meanwhile, the three nuclear protesters who managed to make their way into the inner sanctum of an Oak Ridge facility considered one of the most secure in the nation are seeking a delay in their upcoming federal trial.

Megan Rice, 82, who is a Catholic nun, and her two fellow Plowshares protesters, Michael Walli, 63, and Greg Boertje-obed, 57, have filed a motion in U.S. District Court seeking a delay in their Oct. 10 trial on charges they destroyed or attempted to destroy federal property when in August they managed to make their way into the so-called "kill zone" of the Y-12 Nuclear Security Complex.

According to the trio's motion, defense attorneys contend they simply do not have enough time to prepare for trial in the wake of what they call "voluminous" evidence provided to them by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Federal prosecutors are not resisting the move, but a new trial date has not yet been set.

Available at: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/sep/05/evidence-of-possible-cheating-on-security-tests/


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3.
Incident at EDF's Nuclear Plant Over, Employees Back Home
Reuters
9/5/2012
(for personal use only)


The incident at EDF's Fessenheim nuclear power plant in eastern France is now over, with all nine employees present during the chemical reaction having returned home without injuries, the French utility said on Wednesday.

"The incident that occurred today at 3 pm (4:00 PM British time) is now over," EDF said in a statement. "All nine employees present during the incident have been examined by medical services, none had injuries, and they were able to return home."

Two staff suffered light hand burns, EDF and the French energy minister said earlier.

The fire brigade that was called for the steam leak at France's oldest nuclear power station were now making the last checks on the site, the statement added.

Available at: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/09/05/uk-france-nuclear-accident-idUKBRE8840XU20120905


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E.  Nuclear Cooperation

1.
IAEA Experts Visit Turkey's Nuclear Reactor Site
MENAFN
9/7/2012
(for personal use only)


Experts from the UN nuclear watchdog visited Turkey's nuclear reactor's location Tuesday to get acquainted with the construction progress.

The International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) experts visited the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant site near the Mediterranean, in Mersin province, where preparations were underway for laying foundation of Turkey's first reactor, due to be operational by 2015.

A statement by the governor of Mersin said the experts got acquainted with the project which was implemented by a Russian company by around USD 20 billion. The reactor is expected to produce 4,800 megawatts.

The experts voiced satisfaction with the safety measures in the location.
This is the first visit by IAEA experts since the Turkish and Russian government signed a 20-year-old agreement in May 2010.

Available at: http://www.menafn.com/menafn/1093554512/IAEA-experts-visit-Turkeys-nuclear-reactor-site


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2.
Rosatom Wants to Participate in Polish Nuclear Project
Warsaw Business Journal
9/7/2012
(for personal use only)


Russia's state energy corporation Rosatom wants to get involved in Poland’s project to build to nuclear power plants, Puls Biznesu reported.

Sergei Bojarkin, Rosatom’s director responsible for managing engineering projects, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that the state-controlled company, is ready to participate in a tender for the construction of the first Polish nuclear power plant.

“If such a tender is launched in Poland we will be ready to present our offer. We are still waiting for terms and conditions of the potential tender to be announced, but we are 99 percent sure that we will take part in it,” Mr Bojarkin said.

Available at: http://www.wbj.pl/article-60259-rosatom-wants-to-participate-in-polish-nuclear-project.html?typ=pam


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F.  Links of Interest

1.
NRC Staff to Review Nuclear Reactor Waste Storage Rules
Reuters
9/6/2012
(for personal use only)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/06/us-utilities-nrc-waste-idUSBRE8851..


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2.
US Nuclear Bombs Will Remain in Germany
The Local
9/5/2012
(for personal use only)
http://www.thelocal.de/national/20120905-44779.html


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3.
Tochigi Prefecture Proposed as Radioactive Waste Disposal Site
Adam Westlake
The Japan Daily Press
9/4/2012
(for personal use only)
http://japandailypress.com/tochigi-prefecture-proposed-as-radioactive-waste-..


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4.
Notice of Expected Date of Initial Decision, Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
8/27/2012
(for personal use only)
http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1224/ML12240A112.pdf


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