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Nuclear News - 2/21/2013
PGS Nuclear News, February 21, 2013
Compiled By: Pia Ulrich


A.  North Korea
    1. North Korea Cites "Tragedy" of Countries that Give Up Nuclear Programs, Reuters (2/21/2013)
    2. Spy Agencies Scrounge for Details on North Korean Nuclear Test, Mark Hosenball and Jack Kim, Reuters (2/20/2013)
B.  Nuclear Safety & Security
    1. Highest Priority to Safety of Nuclear Plants: President Pranab Mukherjee, Economic Times (2/21/2013)
    2. Royal Navy Sub Returns to Port With Nuclear Reactor Coolant Leak, Charles Digges, Bellona (2/20/2013)
    3. NRC to Increase Oversight at Two Nuclear Power Plants, Power Engineering (2/19/2013)
C.  Iran
    1. U.N. Report May Show Slower Growth in Iran Nuclear Stockpile, Fredrik Dahl, Reuters (2/20/2013)
D.  Nuclear Energy
    1. TVA, B&W Sign Agreement for Small Nuclear Reactor at Clinch River Site, Oak Ridge Today (2/20/2013)
    2. Nuclear Power 'Will Help Cut Emissions', South Africa Info (2/20/2013)
E.  Nuclear Cooperation
    1. Russian PM in Brazil Seeking Arms, Nuclear Technology Deals, Alexei Anishchuk, Reuters (2/20/2013)
    2. Norway-Russia Nuclear Safety Deal Closed, Lyndsy Smith and Michael Sandelson, The Foreigner (2/20/2013)
    3. Putin, Jordan King to Discuss Nuclear Plant Project, Syria, The Voice of Russia (2/19/2013)
F.  Links of Interest
    1. Abyss of Uncertainty: Germany's Homemade Nuclear Waste Disaster, Michael Fröhlingsdorf, Udo Ludwig and Alfred Weinzierl, Der Spiegel (2/21/2013)
    2. Japan Atomic Power Takes Rare Step of Selling Uranium to Pay Off Loans, The Japan Times (2/20/2013)
    3. Trillion-Euro Cost of German Energy Transition, World Nuclear News (2/20/2013)



A.  North Korea

1.
North Korea Cites "Tragedy" of Countries that Give Up Nuclear Programs
Reuters
2/21/2013
(for personal use only)


North Korea has bolstered its defenses against a "hostile" United States with its third nuclear test, it said on Thursday, noting that countries that had bowed to U.S. pressure to abandon their nuclear plans had suffered "tragic consequences".

The North carried out its largest nuclear test to date last week, in defiance of U.N. resolutions, prompting warnings of tougher sanctions for the isolated and impoverished state and its young ruler, Kim Jong-un.

Libya abandoned its nuclear program in 2003 in a bid to mend relations with the United States and later saw leader Muammar Gaddafi overthrown in an uprising that was eventually supported militarily by Washington.

In apparent reference to Libya, North Korea said it never backed down.

"The tragic consequences in those countries which abandoned halfway their nuclear programs... clearly prove that the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) was very far-sighted and just when it made the (nuclear) option," North Korea's KCNA news agency said.

North Korea has told China, its sole major ally, that it plans to stage more nuclear tests, according to a source with close connections to the top leadership in both countries.

It staged the latest test in response to tighter U.N. sanctions imposed in January after the country launched a long-range rocket last year in a move that critics said was designed to prove technology for an intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea has recently stepped up its rhetoric against South Korea, threatening to destroy its rich, democratic neighbor.

Most military assessments suggest that North Korea would lose any war against the U.S.-backed South and that its leaders would not risk a major conflict.

In 2010, North Korea was blamed for sinking a South Korean naval vessel and in the same year it shelled a South Korean island, killing four people, including two civilians.

Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/21/us-korea-north-idUSBRE91K06720130221



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2.
Spy Agencies Scrounge for Details on North Korean Nuclear Test
Mark Hosenball and Jack Kim
Reuters
2/20/2013
(for personal use only)


U.S. and allied spy agencies have found no traces of telltale nuclear-related particles from North Korea's February 12 nuclear bomb test, leaving unresolved basic questions about the device's design, according to officials in the United States, Europe and South Korea.

This lack of scientific evidence suggests that key questions may remain unanswered about the type of fissile material used in the test, which was detected by seismic sensors. It also leaves unaddressed questions about how far the North has advanced in its bomb design.

After the test, the U.S. Air Force Technical Applications Center in Florida dispatched WC-135 "sniffer" airplanes to look for traces of gas residue that could offer clues to the device's design, but those efforts apparently turned up empty, the officials said.

An Air Force spokesperson confirmed that the planes were dispatched but said no results from the missions could be released. A U.S. intelligence official said analysis from the tests "was continuing."

Based on seismic evidence, both officials and private experts say there is little doubt that the North Korean device was several times more powerful than those tested in 2006 and 2009.

While estimates of the explosive power of the latest test vary widely, most officials and experts estimate it was at least five kilotons, which is smaller than the power of the atomic bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima in World War Two.

In a statement about the test issued through its official news agency, North Korea declared that it had used "a miniaturized and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than previously (and which) did not pose any negative impact on the surrounding ecological environment."

One critical question is what kind of fissile material North Korea used in the latest test.

In the two earlier tests, North Korea is believed to have used plutonium as the fissile core of its test devices.

Following international diplomatic pressure, North Korea in 2007 abandoned plutonium production. But it later acknowledged that it had built facilities to produce highly enriched uranium, another fissile material that can be used in bombs.

While plutonium is a by-product of nuclear reactors, experts say it can be difficult to build a bomb using the material because specifications have to be precise. Experts say it would be easy for North Korea to make large, if not almost unlimited, quantities of highly enriched uranium.

Absent the trace evidence that might have been collected by sniffer planes - and without leaked information from within the North Korean testing program - U.S. and allied officials said it would be very difficult for outsiders to determine whether the latest test involved a plutonium or uranium core.

Other key issues include precisely how powerful the device was, how it was configured and how far the North Koreans have advanced in miniaturizing a device they might eventually deploy on long-range ballistic missiles that have been under development.

Officials and experts familiar with the capabilities of sniffer planes said that over the years the North Koreans have become increasingly effective at burying and sealing their tests sites to conceal even the faintest scientific traces.

"History would teach us that the North Koreans do like to hide their secret activities and control the message," said David Albright, a private nuclear expert who has visited North Korea and talked with officials about its nuclear program.

A European national security official said the North Koreans were becoming "very effective" at hiding evidence that would offer clues to its nuclear secrets.

A South Korean official knowledgeable about the February 12 test said that most likely the North Koreans dug a test tunnel deeply and sealed it tightly to prevent detection.

"The most plausible point is the structure of the pit was made so that it wasn't a straight line that opened to the outside, but had multiple turns and also many intercepting blockades," he said.

"We need to remember that this is deep in the mountains (where) they tested that are formed of heavy rocks, not out in flat, exposed area," the official said, adding: "We may not find anything."

South Korean, U.S. and European officials all noted that the trace materials sometimes decay rapidly - in the case of highly enriched uranium within a couple of days after an explosion. The longer no traces are found, the less likely that any traces will be found.

Although "there is still some time left, the chances of finding anything is getting lower and lower," the South Korean official said.

Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/20/us-korea-north-nuclear-usa-idUSBRE91J1CY20130220


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B.  Nuclear Safety & Security

1.
Highest Priority to Safety of Nuclear Plants: President Pranab Mukherjee
Economic Times
2/21/2013
(for personal use only)


Seeking to allay fears over nuclear safety, government today said it has conducted technical reviews of all atomic power plants in the country.

"We have also conducted internal reviews of all safety systems of nuclear power plants in the country," President Pranab Mukherjee said in his address to the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament.

He said the government attached highest priority to the safety of nuclear power plants and was also working with the International Atomic Energy Agency on all nuclear safety issues.

Mukherjee said a Bill to set up a Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority has been introduced in Parliament.

He said two units of the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam, established with Russian collaboration, will be commissioned this year.

On initiatives to promote science, Mukherjee said a new Science, Technology and Innovation policy was unveiled by the government to accelerate the pace of discovery, diffusion and delivery of science-led solutions for faster, sustainable and inclusive growth.

"In order to popularise science education in schools, nearly 7.30 lakh scholarships have been awarded under a scheme called Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research," he said, adding about 48 per cent of the awardees are girls and 25 per cent belong to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

"A new PPP doctoral fellowship titled 'Prime Minister's Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research' has been implemented this year," he said.

Available at: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/highest-priority-to-safety-of-nuclear-plants-president-pranab-mukherjee/articleshow/18608005.cms


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2.
Royal Navy Sub Returns to Port With Nuclear Reactor Coolant Leak
Charles Digges
Bellona
2/20/2013
(for personal use only)


The Royal Navy said the leak of coolant was contained within the reactor compartment of the 4,800-ton Trafalgar-class hunter-killer vessel.

The HMS Tireless initially returned to Faslane Naval Base in Scotland where the leak was inspected – something sure to fuel heated debate about nuclear submarines operating in Scottish waters, Scotland’s Express newspaper reported.

The sub was then sent to Plymouth in southeast England’s Devenport for repairs, the local daily Plymouth Herald reported.

The sub had been undergoing training exercises for new officers off Scotland’s west coast when the leak was discovered.

Coolant leaks have become something of an nerve-jarring term since the catastrophe at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where all back-up and battery systems for coolant led to a triple meltdown on March 11, 2011.

The Royal Navy said in a statement that the leak "posed no risk to the public, the environment or the crew," adding that it didn’t know how long it would take to repair the 28-year-old submarine.

The vessel is expected to be decommissioned this year, the BBC reported.

The navy has openly admitted in the British media that the HMS Tireless and it’s four sister Trafalgar-class vessels still in service were "designed as Cold War warriors" and are now having to adapt to the demands of the 21st Century.

Yet it also said in its statement that it has “no intention” of carrying out checks on the other Trafalgar-class subs in operation.

The Navy’s statements have reflected that it views any problems with any of the vessels nuclear systems as serious, but was also quick to say that such systems are contained in a sealed off compartment.

Additionally, said the Navy, there are procedures to prevent leaks of radioactivity from the vessel.

But the coolant leak is just one in several the HMS Tireless has experienced during its deployment.

In 2010 it was revealed that inspections were undertaken on the entire fleet of Trafalgar class submarines after valves designed to release pressure from steam generators in an emergency were found to be blocked off aboard HMS Turbulent and HMS Tireless.

In 2007, two mechanics died on board the HMS Tireless when a self-contained oxygen generator exploded while the vessel was under the North Pole.

The vessel was sailing under an ice pack 275 kilometers north of Deadhorse, in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, when the accident happened.

In 2000, a fault was discovered on board which then forced 12 hunter-killer nuclear submarines in the UK's fleet to undergo intensive inspections.

The HMS Tireless also became stranded in Gibraltar in May of the same year with a leak in pipe works leading from the nuclear reactor system.

It remained there for nearly a year while repairs were carried out, putting a strain on England’s relations with Spain, and drawing criticism from environmentalists.

In May 2003, it was taken to Scotland for repairs prompting a Ministry of Defence inquiry after it collided with an object at sea.

Other incidents with British submarines in the recent past include the HMS Astute running aground off the west coast of Scotland in 2010, adding to tensions between London and Scotland, which wishes to have its non-nuclear status respected.

Available at: http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2013/HMS_Tireless_coolant



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3.
NRC to Increase Oversight at Two Nuclear Power Plants
Power Engineering
2/19/2013
(for personal use only)


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said it was stepping up oversight at Constellation Energy Nuclear Group's Nine Mile Point 1 and Entergy (NYSE: ETR)'s Fitzpatrick nuclear power plants in New York as a result of changes in indicators used by the NRC to assess performance at reactors.

The color-coded performance indicators start with “Green” and then increase to “White,” “Yellow” or Red.” Nine Mile Point Unit 1 had 3.5 scrams or shutdowns during the fourth quarter of 2012, which changed its status from “Green” to “White.” If a plant has more than three unplanned scrams per 7,000 hours of operation, the status changes.

At the Fitzpatrick plant, the indicator was tracking the number of unplanned power changes exceeding six per 7,000 hours of operation. Fitzpatrick’s rolling average was 6.5.

The increased over sight at the plants include supplemental inspection at each site to assure that plant operators are addressing the concerns.

Available at: http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2013/02/nrc-to-increase-oversight-at-two-nuclear-power-plants.html



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C.  Iran

1.
U.N. Report May Show Slower Growth in Iran Nuclear Stockpile
Fredrik Dahl
Reuters
2/20/2013
(for personal use only)


A U.N. nuclear watchdog report due this week is expected to show that growth of Iran's stockpile of higher-grade enriched uranium has slowed as it is using some of the material to make reactor fuel, diplomats said on Wednesday.

If confirmed in the quarterly report, the development could help buy time for big power diplomacy to try and find a negotiated settlement to a decade-old dispute that has stirred fears of a new Middle East war.

Six world powers and Iran are due to meet for the first time in eight months next week to try again to break the stalemate but analysts expect no major progress toward defusing suspicions of an Iranian quest for nuclear weapons capability.

Israel, which has warned it might bomb Iran's nuclear sites as a last resort, last year gave a rough deadline of mid-2013 as the date by which Tehran could have enough higher-grade uranium to produce a single atomic bomb.

But if Iran is converting some of that uranium to yield reactor fuel, thereby at least temporarily removing it from the stockpile that could be used for weapons if processed further, that may postpone the Israeli "red line" for action.

Any relief for Western powers may be short-lived, however, as Iran also plans to deploy advanced enrichment machines - a step that could speed up its accumulation of material that they fear could be used to devise a nuclear weapon.

One diplomat said Iran may already have moved to install dozens of the new machines at its main enrichment plant near the central town of Natanz, but they were not yet operating.

Also underlining Iran's defiance of international demands to curb its nuclear program, diplomats say it is technically ready to sharply expand enrichment at its Fordow underground plant, which is now operating at a quarter of its capacity.

Refined uranium can fuel nuclear energy plants, which is Iran's stated aim, or provide the core of an atomic bomb, which the United States and Israel suspect may be its ultimate goal.

Enriching uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent is especially worrisome for the West as it represents most of the work required to obtain weapons-grade material. Iran says it needs this enrichment level to fuel a medical research reactor.

"There is continued enrichment ... but they have also resumed the fuel plate production for the Tehran research reactor so that has offset some of the 20 percent stockpile," a Western diplomat said. "I think there will still be a small increase in the 20 percent (stockpile)."

Another diplomat said the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), expected on Thursday or Friday, may show relatively modest growth in the stored amount of higher-grade uranium as a result of a resumption in fuel conversion.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Iran had resumed using small amounts of its 20 percent uranium to make reactor fuel. Wednesday's comments by the two diplomats indicated a larger fuel conversion activity.

But a third diplomat said he did not believe Iran had undertaken "a huge conversion campaign" and that the stockpile could still increase significantly, though at a somewhat slower pace than it would have done without any fuel production.

Iran last year used nearly 100 kg (220 pounds) of the stockpile to make fuel for its reactor producing medical isotopes. It suddenly halted the process in September, leading to a jump of nearly 50 percent to 135 kg in the 20 percent uranium reserve by the time the IAEA issued its November report.

Experts say that up to 240-250 kg would be required for a nuclear bomb, if refined to 90 percent. If Iran did not convert any of the material for fuel, and at current enrichment rates, it could reach this point around June.

The Islamic Republic denies Western allegations that it is seeking to develop the capability to make nuclear arms and says it is Israel's assumed nuclear arsenal that threatens peace.

But the country's expanded uranium enrichment program and lack of full cooperation with U.N. nuclear inspectors have drawn increasingly tough sanctions on the major oil producer.

The United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany are due to meet Iran for talks in Kazakhstan on February 26 to tackle the dispute over Tehran's nuclear aspirations.

They want Iran to halt 20 percent enrichment, shut Fordow and ship out the stockpile. Iran wants a recognition of what it sees as its right to refine uranium and an easing of sanctions.

Analysts and diplomats say Iran's presidential election in June will make it hard for the Islamic Republic to make any concessions to foreign powers at this point.

"They don't want to move an inch," one Western envoy said.

Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/20/us-nuclear-iran-iaea-idUSBRE91J1AH20130220


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D.  Nuclear Energy

1.
Nuclear Power 'Will Help Cut Emissions'
South Africa Info
2/20/2013
(for personal use only)


South Africa plans to expand its use of nuclear power in a safe and secure way as a key part of the country's move towards a diversified, low-carbon energy mix, says Energy Minister Dipuo Peters.

"If we are serious about diversification towards a low carbon economy, we cannot belittle the role that natural gas and nuclear power can play in the realisation of that 2030 low carbon energy vision," Peters said at the Africa Energy Indaba in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

South Africa's Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) for 2010 to 2030, a 20-year projection on the country's electricity supply and demand, envisages 9 600 MW of additional nuclear capacity by 2030. The plan is due to be reviewed soon.

The government was in the process of finalising the IRP when the Fukushima nuclear accident occurred in 2011.

Following the accident, the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) conducted safety re-assessments of the country's existing installations, the Safari-1 research reactor in Pelindaba west of Pretoria, and the Koeberg nuclear power station in Cape Town.

In June, the NNR announced that the country's nuclear installations could withstand natural events.

South Africa is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and had signed up for stress tests to ascertain whether its reactors were vulnerable to natural causes like tsunamis.

Last week, the agency ended their peer review mission to South Africa - their first visit to a country with an existing nuclear programme.

"We need to ensure that energy security is pursued as a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity throughout the continent," Peters told the Energy Indaba on Tuesday.

South Africa's IRP also envisages about 42% of electricity generated in the country coming from renewable resources.

The Department of Energy, under its renewable energy programme for independent power producers, last year selected bidders for a total of 2 614 MW of solar and wind energy to be added to the country's power grid by 2016.

Peters said the department was about to enter the next phase of the programme, which seeks to procure 3 625 MW of renewable energy in total.

The minister added that her department had installed 335 000 solar water systems as it moved towards its target of 1-million by the end of 2014.

Peters also spoke about the need to equip young people on the continent with knowledge and skills in science and engineering, and in the energy sector in particular.

"Partners in the private sector should collaborate with government in finding solutions to address the brain drain," she said.

Available at: http://www.southafrica.info/about/sustainable/nuclear-200213.htm#.USZDwh2G2p4


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2.
TVA, B&W Sign Agreement for Small Nuclear Reactor at Clinch River Site
Oak Ridge Today
2/20/2013
(for personal use only)


The Tennessee Valley Authority and Babcock and Wilcox announced Wednesday a major step in their joint effort to build and test the nation’s first small modular reactor at TVA’s Clinch River Site in Oak Ridge.

TVA and B&W signed a contract Feb. 7 that formalizes the process toward the eventual submittal and Nuclear Regulatory Commission review of a licensing application for a B&W mPower small modular reactor, or SMR, nuclear plant at Clinch River.

The agreement is the first definitive milestone in the U.S. Department of Energy’s recently initiated SMR Licensing Technical Support Program, which aims for commercial demonstration of SMRs by 2022. DOE chose TVA in November for cost sharing in the design and licensing of the B&W mPower small modular reactor as part of the mPower America Team.

“TVA and B&W have now officially launched their team effort towards evaluating this new technology for the nuclear industry and starting the analysis process at TVA’s Clinch River Site,” said Joe Hoagland, TVA senior vice president for Policy and Oversight. “With strong support from DOE, we look forward to the successful development, demonstration, and analysis of SMR technology as a potential option to help TVA and the nation meet our clean-energy goals for the future.”

The contract also defines respective responsibilities and work scopes for TVA and B&W in preparing a license application for NRC review, including a Clinch River Site geological characterization, preliminary safety analysis report, and site environmental report.

Work under this contract will start at the Clinch River Site once B&W mPower and DOE sign a cooperative agreement for the grant funds. The DOE program, which provides $452 million in funding over five years, has received more than $67 million in appropriations from Congress. Under the program, DOE will fund as much as 50 percent of the cost of design and licensing.

TVA is evaluating the Clinch River Site for potential deployment of up to four B&W SMRs. Some site characterization work is already under way as part of the license application preparation, expected to be submitted to the NRC in 2015.

B&W’s mPower reactor is being designed to produce 180 megawatts, about one-sixth the size of large light-water reactors being built today. More of the equipment will be constructed in factories and shipped by rail to the plant site, resulting in reduced construction time and more standardization from plant to plant.

Other potential benefits include fully underground containment for improved safety and security, and clean base-load generation capacity in smaller, more flexible, lower-cost increments.

TVA has been evaluating SMRs, one of its signature technologies, since 2009, but SMRs are still in the early phase of design and licensing. TVA’s nuclear construction project priority remains completion of Watts Bar Unit 2. As the Clinch River project matures, it will be evaluated at certain progress points to ensure its continuation makes sense for TVA.

Available at: http://oakridgetoday.com/2013/02/20/tva-b-w-sign-agreement-for-small-nuclear-reactor-at-clinch-river-site/


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E.  Nuclear Cooperation

1.
Norway-Russia Nuclear Safety Deal Closed
Lyndsy Smith and Michael Sandelson
The Foreigner
2/20/2013
(for personal use only)


120 Russian submarines have been scrapped so far at Andreyeva Bay near Murmansk, with the nuclear fuel rods now to be destroyed.

Andreyeva Bay is the largest storage facility in the Northern Fleet for radioactive waste.
It has been considered unstable for many years, but many countries including Norway have provided expertise and technology to make it more secure.

In a previous article on The Foreigner, it was reported the facility’s spent nuclear fuel stockpile was about 90 tons. Any accident that would occur here is just 45 kilometres from the Norwegian border. The 2011/12 Roslyakovo dry dock Delta-IV class ‘Yekaterinburg’ submarine fire was a one example of the possible threat.

The Russian Armed forces and the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) signed a deal, Wednesday, which will see more help from Norway to improve safety at the site.

“Norway has much to contribute in terms of procedures and practices for nuclear safety, radiation protection guidelines and generally how to increase security against harmful substances” the NRPA’s Malgorzata Sneve told Aftenposten.

Norway is also helping to train inspectors to monitor the procedures at Andreyeva to ensure that international standards regarding handling of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel are followed.

“It’s very important that best practices have been incorporated before the risky job of removing fuel rods begins”, said Malgorzata Sneve, “no chances must be taken here.”

Available at: http://theforeigner.no/pages/news/norway-russia-nuclear-safety-deal-closed/


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2.
Russian PM in Brazil Seeking Arms, Nuclear Technology Deals
Alexei Anishchuk
Reuters
2/20/2013
(for personal use only)


Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday on a visit to Brazil aimed at sealing defense and nuclear technology deals with a fellow member of the BRIC bloc of emerging nations.

On their agenda was the possible sale of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems to Brazil, a Brazilian government spokesman said.

Brazil is beefing up its air defenses ahead of the World Cup soccer tournament next year and the 2016 Olympic Games to ward off the threat of a terrorist attack during the global sporting events, which will draw massive crowds of foreigners.

Medvedev's trip follows a visit by Rousseff to Moscow in December that underlined the importance both countries attach to building relations among the BRIC club of emerging economies.

The BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - have a combined GDP of $14.9 trillion with a population of 330 million and have become increasingly vocal in criticizing developed nations' hold over global economic policies.

Ties between Brazil and Russia have been strengthening and they want to raise annual trade turnover to $10 billion from the current $6.5 billion.

Moscow will tout its advanced energy expertise and technology aiming to get involved in Brazil's plans to build new nuclear power stations to meet surging demand for electricity that has overwhelmed its generating capacity.

"We would like to offer our participation in the construction of nuclear plants and would like to get an invitation to participate in (the upcoming) tender," a senior official in the Russian delegation said.

He said Russia could train Brazil's nuclear staff, design research reactors and supply fuel for the future plants.

Medvedev also will try to clinch the sale of Russia's anti-aircraft missile technology, including the Pantsir S1 combined missile and artillery system and Igla-S portable surface-to-air missiles.

Brazil is interested in buying three Pantsir batteries with medium-range missiles and wants to acquire the technology to build the missiles itself in the future.

"We have already signed a commercial protocol on Igla-S supplies, which also foresees the opportunity of licensed production, but talks are ongoing," the Russian official said. "Licensed production launch may take some time, so they have expressed interest in importing Igla-S in the meantime too."

Russia is the world's second largest arms exporter and a deal with Brazil would largely be seen as a symbolic penetration of the Latin American defense market, after Russia lost some key contracts due to the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East.

Medvedev also will discuss the possible increase of Brazilian meat supplies to Russia, its largest buyer, the official said, but Moscow's sanitary authorities will make sure it is compliant with all the necessary standards.

As a sign of the two countries drawing closer, Brazil on Tuesday became the first country outside Russia to host a monitoring station for the Russian satellite navigation system GLONASS, a global positioning system that uses 24 satellites.

Medvedev also will visit Cuba, a former Cold War-era ally, where Moscow expects to sign deals on medicine, space and aviation, possibly including on the supply to Havana of three Ukrainian-Russian Antonov-158 regional jets.

Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/20/us-brazil-russia-idUSBRE91J0TC20130220


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3.
Putin, Jordan King to Discuss Nuclear Plant Project, Syria
The Voice of Russia
2/19/2013
(for personal use only)


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Jordanian King Abdallah II are due to meet in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss proposed Russian participation in a project to build Jordan's first nuclear power plant and the crisis in Syria among other issues, the Kremlin said.

The meeting will be held during what is Abdallah's 10th visit to Russia. The two leaders last met in Jordan in June 2012.

"The heads of state are planning to consider prospects for the implementation of large-scale joint projects. Primarily they will discuss the possibility of Russian participation in the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the kingdom, and projects for infrastructural development and the extraction of minerals," the Russian president's office said in a statement.

Economic issues will dominate the negotiations, and one of the results of the talks will be the signature of an agreement to launch a Russian-Jordanian commission on economic, scientific and technological cooperation.

According to the Russian government, Russian-Jordanian trade grew 22% in 2012 to $426.5 million. Russian exports, mainly oil products, steel and grain, make up the bulk of goods flowing between the two countries.

Proposals on education and personnel training are also on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting.

About 600 Jordanians are studying at Russian higher education institutions. In the last academic year, the Russian government provided 25 Jordanians with scholarships, and another 12 scholarships were paid by Rosatom, the state corporation regulating Russia's nuclear industry, for training Jordanian nuclear physicists.

Putin and Abdallah will also discuss international issues, including the Syrian conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the statement said.

Available at: http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_02_19/Putin-Jordan-king-to-discuss-nuclear-plant-project-Syria/



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F.  Links of Interest

1.
Abyss of Uncertainty: Germany's Homemade Nuclear Waste Disaster
Michael Fröhlingsdorf, Udo Ludwig and Alfred Weinzierl
Der Spiegel
2/21/2013
(for personal use only)
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-weighs-options-for-handl..


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2.
Japan Atomic Power Takes Rare Step of Selling Uranium to Pay Off Loans
The Japan Times
2/20/2013
(for personal use only)
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/02/21/national/japan-atomic-power-take..


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3.
Trillion-Euro Cost of German Energy Transition
World Nuclear News
2/20/2013
(for personal use only)
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Trillion-Euro_cost_of_German_energy_tra..


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