Top Nuclear Stories (Sept 4th- 8th)

radbullSome pretty bad news this time around. Thanks to a large bribe from India the nuclear club has agreed to let India into its midst without agreeing to global proliferation treaties, opening the door to Washington’s treaty with India. Pakistan immediately said the treaty will create a new nuclear weapons cold war in Asia. North Korea is reversing itself and restarting its weapons program and Bush has ended working with Russia. Sarkozy has said that it is just a matter of time before Israel hits Iran, and oh yeah, France and Germany are having more trouble with nuclear scandals.

There was one amazing new article out in Oped News on nuclear power! South Carolina’s push takes its bow, there was a national n-waste conference in Utah. The NRC is busy these days, with ISL hearings as well as accepting the DOE’s SEIS on Yucca Mt. for review. Picture games are heating up with new tactics. Note the lack of images this time as social bookmarking sites that allow image links have all gone black this week.

The energy news in D.C. is Drill Drill Drill! Barring a miracle, expect the same for nuclear funding! Contact your reps and and friends!

At this point in time, I think we all know that the real problem is the Mainstream Corporate Media.

Top Nuclear Stories Index

Reactors Safety NRC Fuel Cycle N-Waste
Policy Weapons DOE Energy News OpEd


Nuclear Reactor News

San Luis Obispo County | Nuclear reactor restarted at Diablo Canyon following fire
Pacific Gas and Electric has restarted a reactor unit at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant after an explosive transformer fire prompted a 20-day shutdown.

The cause of the fire has been identified as the failure of a bushing that connects the transformer to the high-voltage transmission lines. The failure caused the bushing’s outer ceramic shell to disintegrate and ignited insulating oil.

All you wanted to know about nuclear power-The Economic Times
The special waiver for India by the 45-country Nuclear Suppliers Group means that New Delhi can now access fuel and requisite technology from abroad and step-up power generation via atomic energy. The technology denial regime for a host of dual-use technologies would end.

The Telegraph – Calcutta (Kolkata) | Rs 100000cr carrot behind the waiver
A sum of Rs 100,000 crore that is up for grabs in deals may have helped India bag the Nuclear Suppliers Group waiver.

New Delhi has drawn up plans under which the state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (NTPC) are to set up a string of nuclear power plants — 15 by 2020 that will add 20,000MW to the current 3,300MW.

Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation: EA moves forward for Bruce build
Chalk up another milestone for Bruce Power.

The executive assistant to the President of Bruce Power, James Scongack says last week’s announcement of the make-up of the joint review panel to look into the proposed Bruce Power new nuclear power plant project is significant.

Scongack says the quick announcement shows the government is interested in Bruce Power moving ahead with its environmental impact statement.

The State | TIMELINE: Power by 2016?
The application by SCE&G and Santee Cooper to build two reactors in Fairfield County will have to work its way through state and federal regulatory agencies before the reactors begin operation. A look at the timeline:

The State | 09/07/2008 | The great nuclear power debate
SCE&G’s plan to build two reactors goes before state regulators Wednesday

SCE&G and Santee Cooper estimate it will cost about $10 billion to build two nuclear reactors in Fairfield County. What nuclear energy can you do with $10 billion? A few ideas:
Thirty years after the commercial nuclear power industry appeared dead, South Carolina is on the leading edge of its rebound.

Nationwide, applications to build a dozen nuclear power reactors ” four in South Carolina ” have been filed with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

While there is growing public support for nuclear power, its resurgence also has touched off a firestorm of debate.

RIA Novosti – Floating nuclear power plant gets new “birthplace”
In a couple of years, a new kind of vessel will appear at sea: the floating nuclear power plant (FNPP).

The Academician Lomonosov, currently under construction in Russia, is only one project of several being developed so far.

The formal keel laying ceremony took place in April 2007 at the Sevmash shipyard of the Russian State Center for Nuclear Shipbuilding in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk Region. After about a year and a half, the state-owned corporation Rosatom revoked the general contract, handing it over to the Baltiysky Zavod (Baltic Plant) Shipyard in St. Petersburg. So now the birthplace of the first-ever floating nuclear power plant will be the Baltic Sea instead of the White Sea.

ANALYSIS-Nuclear revival needs constructors to deliver | Reuters
The world’s nuclear industry is ready for a “nuclear renaissance”, but it is up to the reactor builders to make it happen.

Industry sources said that constructors must build reactors on schedule and within cost constraints.

Westinghouse signs agreements on AP1000 construction in UK
Westinghouse Electric Co. said it signed separate agreements September 4 with three companies to collaborate on work for construction in the UK of its AP1000 reactor design. In a September 4 press statement, Westinghouse said the agreements ? with BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Doosan Babcock — may lead to the UK supply chain providing 70%-80% of the services required to build the AP1000.

Victoria Advocate – Nuclear opponents announce forum
Two days after Exelon Nuclear stepped forward in its quest to set up shop here, opponents sounded a warning and announced an October community forum.

John Figer, director of Texans for a Sound Energy Alliance, said questions remain regarding nuclear power, safety and water usage.

Member of Vermont Yankee review panel dies –
A member of a special panel reviewing operations at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant died after collapsing while teaching a nuclear engineering class at Pennsylvania State University, where he was a professor.

Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers said Lawrence Hochreiter died of natural causes at a hospital about an hour after collapsing Wednesday morning. GE-Hitachi Likely to Miss Turkish Nuclear Deadline
General Electric Co., the world’s biggest maker of power generation equipment, still plans to submit a bid to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant even though it will probably miss a Sept. 24 government deadline.

GE’s nuclear venture with Hitachi Ltd., Japan’s third- largest builder of atomic plants, is working on a bid with partners Turkey’s Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS and Spain’s Iberdrola SA, Jack Fuller, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s chief executive officer, said in an interview.

Oyster Creek owner plans $1.5 billion stock buyback | Asbury Park Press
Exelon Corp., the largest U.S. owner of nuclear-power plants, including the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey, said it will buy back as much as $1.5 billion of its stock.

The repurchases will probably be completed in the next six months, Chicago-based Exelon said today in a statement. Exelon’s market value is $47.3 billion, based on yesterday’s closing share price. Before today, Exelon had announced buybacks totaling $1.75 billion over the past year.

Gaffney reactor foes raise issues | The Greenville News
The impact on the water supply and global warming are among the issues an environmental group has raised over plans for a new nuclear power plant near Gaffney.

The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, an independent judicial arm of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, held the initial pre-hearing conference Wednesday at the Cherokee County courthouse concerning Duke Energy plans to build two nuclear reactors near Gaffney.


Nuclear Health and Safety News

New incident at French nuclear plant | Reuters
A security incident has occurred at a French nuclear site already under scrutiny because of a series of safety scares over the summer, France’s ASN nuclear safety authority said on Monday.

ASN said two fuel units became snagged in a reactor at Tricastin in southern France on Monday morning when site workers were attempting to remove them during maintenance work

San Luis Obispo County| Nuclear reactor restarted at Diablo Canyon following fire
Pacific Gas and Electric has restarted a reactor unit at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant after an explosive transformer fire prompted a 20-day shutdown.

The cause of the fire has been identified as the failure of a bushing that connects the transformer to the high-voltage transmission lines. The failure caused the bushing’s outer ceramic shell to disintegrate and ignited insulating oil. – Atomic soldiers glad to be recognized at last
James Chilman makes jokes about glowing in the dark.

His buddy — Jim Huntley from the same platoon of the Queen’s Own Rifles, Second Battalion — marvels at how absurd it was to practise field-stripping a rifle while marching toward a towering mushroom cloud minutes after the detonation of an atomic bomb.

Vet’s family still seeks compensation for illness that killed him –
Lisa Bumpus of Roseville wears a necklace that holds the wedding ring of her husband, Matt Bumpus, who died Aug. 3. Both thought his rare form of leukemia can be traced to an assignment in Iraq.

A much deserved victory – Las Vegas Sun
Ruling favors government whistleblower who pointed out public health dangers at mine

Earle Dixon was a Bureau of Land Management project supervisor overseeing the cleanup of a radioactive former copper mine in Northern Nevada when he began speaking out about what he perceived as potential public health and safety hazards that were far worse than state and federal agencies were willing to admit. The BLM did not take kindly to Dixon’s opinions and fired him in October 2004.

Science Centric | News | Researchers discover atomic bomb effect results in adult-onset thyroid cancer
Radiation from the atomic bomb blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, likely rearranged chromosomes in some survivors who later developed papillary thyroid cancer as adults, according to Japanese researchers.

In the 1 September issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, the scientists report that subjects who lived close to the blast sites, were comparably young at the time, and developed the cancer quickly once they reached adulthood, were likely to have a chromosomal rearrangement known as RET/PTC that is not very frequent in adults who develop the disease.

history Nuclear accidents buried beneath 76 acres – The Augusta Chronicle
They were among the worst nuclear accidents in history — and also the most sensitive.

U.S. Food and Water Supply Poisoned by Perchlorate
According to a report by the Organic Consumers Association, a toxic chemical that is a byproduct of rocket fuel is rapidly poisoning the food and water supply in the United States. Known as perchlorate, this chemical has been found in 93% of the nation’s milk and lettuce supply in a recent FDA study. It has also been found in the drinking water for at least 22 states at extremely alarming levels. Perhaps the scariest statistic is that perchlorate has been found in the breast milk of 97% of the mothers who were tested.

Radiation warning for Scots families near firing range – The Daily Record
PEOPLE living near a top-secret firing range may be at a higher risk of cancer, scientists have claimed.

Researchers say radioactive particles from weapons could damage the genes, including those of unborn babies, of residents who live near the military site on the Solway Firth.

Northumberland Today – Lake Ontario Waterkeeper wants investigation
Lakeshore Road residents in partnership with Lake Ontario Waterkeeper are seeking an application for an investigation to determine whether Cameco Corporation may be in violation of Ontario’s environmental laws. The province has until early November to respond to the request.

The Port Hope application was submitted to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario on Monday, Aug. 25, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper president and environmental lawyer Mark Mattson said Thursday, August 28.

THE EXPOSED: Sick Oak Ridge Nuclear Workers Detail Frustrations on Vimeo
During an interview for our documentary “The Exposed,” three former Oak Ridge nuclear workers spoke of their frustrations with obtaining medical help and compensation through the U.S. Department of Labor, charged with helping such workers through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA) — working video clipsfilmed by Wes Rehberg, Wild Clearing

SN&R > The ultimate price
Matt Bumpus stood guard outside a cavernous bunker on the outskirts of Mosul, Iraq. Inside were several 50-gallon drums filled with something unknown. Something bad. Nearly three years later, lying in a hospital bed in Sacramento, the memory of that night and those drums would come back to him.

As a teenager, Matt was an active young man, who stood 6 feet 2 inches with broad shoulders and played football for Roseville High School. He joined the Army in 1996, a year after he graduated. At the time, he thought that “it was kind of one of those macho things to do. Join the infantry and be a tough guy, play with guns and things that blow up.”

Spain nuclear watchdog warns on plant renewals | Reuters

Spain’s nuclear watchdog told plants on Wednesday that renewing their operating permits would depend on how they implemented tighter safety procedures spurred by a rash of unscheduled stoppages.

Among others, the Nuclear Safety Council reviewed safety plans at the 1,000 megawatt Asco I plant, which faces a hefty fine after the regulator asked for government sanctions over the management’s handling of a radioactive leak last November.


NRC News

NRC – NRC Dockets Yucca Mountain Application, Adopts DOE’s Environmental Impact Statement
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has formally docketed the Department of Energy’s license application for the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev. The agency staff has also recommended that the Commission adopt, with further supplementation, DOE’s Environmental Impact Statement for the repository project.

The decision to docket the application follows the NRC staff’s determination that the application, submitted June 3, is sufficiently complete for the staff to begin its full technical review. Docketing the application does not indicate whether the Commission will approve or reject the construction authorization for the repository, nor does it preclude the Commission or the agency staff from requesting additional information from DOE during the course of its comprehensive technical review.

NRC mishandled whistle-blower complaint at Peach Bottom, report says –
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission violated its own rules when it asked the owner of the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station to investigate a 2007 complaint that security guards were sleeping on the job.

That was the conclusion in a report by the NRC’s internal Office of Inspector General, which reviewed the agency’s handling of security officer Kerry Beal’s allegation that members of his security team routinely slept on the job. Among the findings in the report, companies that operate the plants should not be asked to investigate themselves when the allegations concern management.

Independent – September 8, 2008: NRC public comment meeting tomorrow
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission has announced an open house and public comment meeting to be held in Grants this week.

On Tuesday the commission will conduct the session to accept comments on the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities. In-situ is one of the uranium extraction methods being considered for use in the Grants area.

NRC: Field Studies to Confirm Uncertainty Estimates of Ground-Water Recharge (NUREG/CR-6946)
Little is known regarding data requirements and model uncertainties for evaluating surface and subsurface fluxes at the small watershed scale, common to nuclear facility sites. This field study was conducted to evaluate data and monitoring approaches for determining both short- and long-term ground-water recharge estimates on different spatial and temporal scales. Four methods for estimating within-field ground-water recharge were evaluated

NRC: – NRC Issues Mid-Cycle Assessments for Nation’s Nuclear Plants
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued mid-cycle assessment letters to the nation’s 104 operating commercial nuclear power plants. The agency’s most recent assessments show all the plants continue to operate safely.

“We ensure nuclear power plants are safe, inspecting them and rating their performance regularly, as part of our mission to protect people and the environment,” said Fred Brown, Director of the Division of Inspection and Regional Support in the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.”The latest round of assessments shows that 90 percent of the nation’s commercial nuclear power plants require only the basic level of attention by the agency. This is an improvement from a year ago, when only 72 percent of the plants required this lower level of oversight.”

NRC evaluates responses to inattentive guards at Exelon nuke unit
The NRC Office of Inspector General said in a report Tuesday that its Region I staff could have done a better job in responding to allegations that security officers were napping on duty at Exelon’s Generation 1,119-MW Peach Bottom station near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Separately, Exelon Generation has now completed all of its commitments related to addressing this “inattentiveness” by security officers, the NRC said Thursday in closing an October 2007 confirmatory action letter.


Nuclear Fuel Cycle News – NRC takes comments on ISL uranium mining
A Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearing in Chadron last week, intended primarily to take public comment on a proposal for use of a generic Environmental Impact Statement in issuing permits for In-Situ Leach (ISL) mines such as the Crow Butte Resources mine near Crawford, provided a primer on the ISL process for an audience of about 35 people, and a discussion forum for several of those involved in challenges to Crow Butte’s proposed expansion project.\n\nAmong the details to emerge from the meeting was acknowledgment by the NRC that, although ISL mine permits call for returning groundwater to its original condition when mining is done, some of the baseline parameters have proved unachievable by mining companies.

Independent – : NRC public comment meeting tomorrow
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission has announced an open house and public comment meeting to be held in Grants this week.

On Tuesday the commission will conduct the session to accept comments on the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities. In-situ is one of the uranium extraction methods being considered for use in the Grants area.

Australia to keep India uranium sale ban – report | Reuters
Australia will not reverse its ban on the sale of uranium to India and other countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Trade Minister Simon Crean was reported as saying on Monday.

Australia’s policy would not change, Crean told the Australian newspaper, despite the government’s support for a weekend decision by the 45-nation Nuclear Supplier Group to lift a global ban on nuclear trade with India.

New South African enrichment process
A new isotope enrichment process with eventual application to uranium has been announced by a South African company. It represents a revival of an historic project, never thought to be commercially viable.

Hendrik Strydom of Klydon Pty Ltd outlined the genesis and uranium aspirations of his company’s technology. The founding members of Klydon previously held senior positions within the SA Atomic Energy Corporation (now the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa, Necsa).

Uranium stockpile could solve future energy needs – Chester Chronicle
A PARTIAL solution to Britain’s future energy needs could be found in the stockpile of thousands of tonnes of uranium at Capenhurst.

Britain’s stockpile of uranium and plutonium is the equivalent of 2.6 billion barrels of oil with enough energy to power three nuclear reactors for 60 years – one of which would serve the needs of Liverpool.

How to solve a problem like 45kg of bomb-grade uranium?
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., is sitting on a stockpile of orphaned bomb-grade uranium it doesn’t want to talk about.

Since the Crown corporation pulled the plug in May on further development of its two troubled MAPLE reactors at its Chalk River, Ont., nuclear laboratories, officials have debated how to deal with the estimated 45 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) the United States exported to Canada for production of medical isotopes in the now-doomed reactors.

Whatever the options are now for the highly enriched uranium, AECL isn’t saying.

USEC gets tax break worth $5M – Oak Ridge, TN – The Oak Ridger
A city board endorsed a property tax abatement on Tuesday that could be worth $5 million.

It’s the largest tax break approved by the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board since the abatement policies — designed to lure new businesses to town — went into effect several years ago.

Do the research: Uranium doesn’t solve problem | The Coloradoan,
Mike Fox had it all wrong in his Aug. 21 editorial. He repeated a lot of uranium industry propaganda, but apparently didn’t do his research. So here’s some information to help him further consider the issues.

First, nuclear power is many times more expensive than the alternatives. It’s also riskier, and nuclear power plants take longer to build – at least 10 years, compared to 18 months for a wind farm.

This isn’t just some wild environmentalist talk. The major financial agencies (Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, etc.) won’t invest in nuclear power because, they say, it has unique risks. Quoting their July 2007 letter to the federal Department of Energy – “We believe these risks, combined with the higher capital costs and longer construction schedules of nuclear plants as compared to other generation facilities, will make lenders unwilling at present to extend long-term credit to such projects in a form that would be commercially viable.”

Reuters: Lack of power and water cap Namibian uranium output
A shortage of energy and water will cap future uranium mine expansion in Namibia, but the country hopes to ease the bottlenecks through desalination and a new coal-fired power plant, an industry body said on Wednesday.

The government has issued some 50 exclusive prospecting licenses for more uranium mining firms, but output of uranium is dependent on the availability of water.

The World from Berlin: ‘The Most Problematic Nuclear Facility in Europe’ – SPIEGEL ONLINE
Leaking nuclear waste in a storage facility in Lower Saxony has raised the temperature of the conversation over nuclear power in Germany. Conservatives say nuclear power is safe and clean, but the Left is saying, ‘I told you so.’ But no one knows what to do about radioactive water leaking from the mine.

The Asse II salt mine, in Lower Saxony, is leaking radioactive brine.
The trouble with nuclear waste is that it never goes away, German politicians are (re-)learning this week, after a status report on barrels of leaking nuclear waste in a storage facility based at a former salt rock and potash mine called Asse II in Lower Saxony

German mine used for nuclear waste leaking –
Radioactive water is leaking from an old salt and potash mine in Germany that had been converted to a storage facility for nuclear waste.

The discovery of the leak has reopened debate about nuclear power, theerman magazine Der Spiegel reports. German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel described the mine as “the most problematic nuclear facility in Europe.”

The Asse II mine in Lower Saxony shut down in 1964. Three years later it reopened as an “experimental” nuclear facility.


Nuclear Waste News

Nuclear waste conference says public input needed – Salt Lake Tribune
The nuclear waste industry wants you. Well, at least your input.
Without it, the nation’s nuclear waste logjam will get worse, said cleanup industry representatives and regulators last week.
“It’s a very complicated problem and one that will take a lot of communication to solve,” said Gregory B. Jaczko, of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. – Breach Cases Could Cost U.S. Government Billions
The federal government recently suffered two potentially multibillion-dollar blows in long-running breach-of-contract litigation involving oil leases and spent nuclear fuel, and it now faces a third area of possible liability for broken Medicare contracts.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a $1 billion damages award by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for the government’s breach of oil and gas leases held by 11 companies — what court watchers say may be the largest single award by the claims court in its 150-year history.

At a nuclear waste industry meeting, officials say the regional compact needs revamp – Salt Lake Tribune
Utah has long been the safety valve for states without disposal for radiation-tainted waste.
Railroad cars hauled all but 5 percent of the nation’s low-level radioactive waste last year to the EnergySolutions Inc. disposal site in Tooele County.
But hospitals, universities and nuclear plants that generate low-level waste are beginning to worry about the long-term outlook for a small fraction of the waste they generate, material that has been outlawed in Utah because it is too radiologically hot.

Dealing with Asse : Where Should Germany Store Its Nuclear Waste? – SPIEGEL ONLINE
Germany’s environment minister made himself out to be a crisis manager in the scandal surrounding the Asse nuclear waste storage facility. But the problem has not been solved — and the issue threatens to derail the CDU’s plans to postpone Germany’s nuclear phaseout.

The Associated Press: Yucca license application accepted for review
Federal regulators took a first step Monday toward allowing a radioactive waste dump in Nevada, agreeing to formally review the government’s license application for the dump.

It will still take the Nuclear Regulatory Commission up to four years to consider the Energy Department’s 8,600-page application and decide whether to grant the federal government permission to build the 77,000-ton dump.

Epoch Times – Germany Engulfed in Row Over Nuclear Waste Sites
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday called for a decision on where to store radioactive nuclear material after a scandal over leaks at a depot this week sparked a row about what to do with atomic waste.

Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said last week his ministry would assume responsibility for the Asse facility in the state of Lower Saxony after he attacked the operators for presiding over years of leaks of radioactive waste.

FR: NAVY: SEIS cleanup of SF Hunters Pt Shipyard
the Department of the Navy (Navy) announces its intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to evaluate the potential environmental consequences of the proposed disposal and reuse of the surplus portion of Hunters Point Shipyard, San Francisco, California. DATES AND ADDRESSES: A public scoping meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 23, 2008, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Southeast Community Facility, Alex L. Pitcher Community Room, 1800 Oakdale Avenue, San Francisco, California 94124. The purpose of the meeting will be to receive oral and written comments on environmental concerns that should be addressed in the SEIS.

German Nuclear Storage Facility Hit by Safety Scandal | Germany | Deutsche Welle |
Germany’s Asse nuclear storage facility is to get a new operator who will be responsible to the federal environment ministry following revelations this week of serious safety violations at the site.

Germany’s Federal Office for Radioactive Protection (BfS) is to take over the ailing Asse nuclear storage facility in the state of Lower Saxony after strong criticism of operators Helmholtz’s German Research Center for Environmental Health in Munich for failing to alert the government to violations at the site.

Radioactive Leakage: Berlin Takes Steps to Address Nuclear Waste Scandal – SPIEGEL ONLINE
Responsibility for a leaking radioactive waste site in the mountains of Lower Saxony has been shifted from one office to another in the German government. The scandal has political fallout, but whether — and how — the leaking waste can be cleaned up is still not clear.

Drums containing radioactive waste in the Asse storage site.
After a damning report about nuclear waste leaking from a Cold War-era storage facility in Lower Saxony — a former salt and potash mine called Asse-II — the German government will dissolve the bureau responsible for its maintenance, the Helmholtz Center for Health and Environment, and put another office in charge, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection.

Protesters march over proposed NT nuclear waste dump (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
An estimated 100 people have marched in Tennant Creek this morning in protest at the proposal to place a nuclear waste facility at a site north of the town.

Traditional owners from Muckaty Station, which negotiated with the former federal government to place the facility there, were at the protest and say they never supported the proposal.

Utah one-stop shop for N-waste – Salt Lake Tribune
When some people refer to Utah as a “national treasure,” it’s not for the state’s picturesque deserts or breathtaking mountains but because of a mile-square disposal site in Tooele County for much of the nation’s radioactive waste.
Without it, rail cars of low-level radioactive waste would have nowhere to go.
That kind of notoriety is making the Utah public and policymakers uneasy, a state regulator said Wednesday.


Nuclear Policy News

The U.S.-India Nuclear Deal – Council on Foreign Relations
In August 2007, India and the United States reached a bilateral agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation as envisioned in the joint statement released by President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 18, 2005. The deal, which marks a notable warming of U.S.-India relations, would lift the U.S. moratorium on nuclear trade with India, provide U.S. assistance to India’s civilian nuclear energy program, and expand U.S.-Indian cooperation in energy and satellite technology. But critics in the United States say the deal fundamentally reverses half a century of U.S. nonproliferation efforts, undermine attempts to prevent states like Iran and North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons, and potentially contribute to a nuclear arms race in Asia. “It’s an unprecedented deal for India,” says Charles D. Ferguson, science and technology fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “If you look at the three countries outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)—Israel, India, and Pakistan—this stands to be a unique deal.”

The State | Nuclear power disadvantages: What opponents say


  • There is no safe amount of radiation. Each new exposure can lead to the risk of cancer and harm the body’s immune system. Radiation also can lead to spontaneous abortion, mental retardation, heart disease and leukemia.
  • Increased reliance on nuclear power plants threatens the water supply. Reactors must be near large bodies of water to create steam to power their turbines and cool fuel rods. Water at higher temperatures may be returned to streams, causing thermal pollution and stressing fish and other aquatic life.
  • If droughts become more common in the Southeast, nuclear plants will compete for water with other important uses.


  • Building a nuclear reactor is expensive, costing up to $6 billion. By comparison, the state budget totals $7 billion a year.
  • There are no guarantees. The regulatory process required to get a license to build and operate a nuclear plant is lengthy and expensive, and can end in rejection.
  • Because the risks are so high, power companies must pay more in interest on loans needed to build the plants. To cover that cost, consumers will see their power bills increase as the plants are being built. In a sense, consumers assume the risk.


  • Regardless of new designs, safety procedures and rigorous staff training, there always is the risk of a catastrophic accident.
  • Opponents cite a 1982 congressional report that estimated a meltdown of one Duke Energy reactor could injure 88,000 people and cost more than $100 billion in 1980 dollars. Today, those figures would be higher because of the area’s booming population and inflation.


  • Nuclear plants could be a prime target for terrorists. An attack could injure thousands near a plant.
  • Technology used to run the plants could be stolen and used to make nuclear weapons.


  • Scientists agree the best option is to bury spent nuclear fuel deep inside a mountain. But opposition to using tunnels in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain shows that solution ” for the time being” is not politically acceptable.

The State | The great nuclear power debate
SCE&G’ plan to build two reactors goes before state regulators Wednesday

SCE&G and Santee Cooper estimate it will cost about $10 billion to build two nuclear reactors in Fairfield County. What nuclear energy can you do with $10 billion? A few ideas:
Thirty years after the commercial nuclear power industry appeared dead, South Carolina is on the leading edge of its rebound.

Nationwide, applications to build a dozen nuclear power reactors” four in South Carolina” have been filed with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

While there is growing public support for nuclear power, its resurgence also has touched off a firestorm of debate.

Risking Armageddon for Cold, Hard Cash – washingtonpost
While everyone has been abuzz about Georgia, the Beijing Olympics and Sarah Palin, perhaps the most important development in the world has been unfolding with almost no attention. India and the United States, along with deep-pocketed corporations, have been steadily pushing along a lucrative and dangerous new nuclear pact, the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement. Both governments have been working at a fever pitch to get the pact approved by the 45-country Nuclear Suppliers Group, which governs the world’s trade in nuclear materials, and before Congress for a final vote before it adjourns this month.

Polish Market Online: Poles divided over nuclear power
Over 47% of Poles in a survey by the portal opposed plans to build a nuclear power plant in Poland. According to latest government reports a nuclear plant will not be built in Poland before 2020.\n\n42% were in favour of a nuclear plant, the remainder could not say, wrote. \n72% of the plant supporters had nothing against its siting within 100 kilometres of their place of residence, 18 % did not want a nuclear plant in their vicinity.\nAccording to experts the main argument for a nuclear plant in Poland is low-cost energy. A 2003 report by Finnish scientists quoted by states that uranium, which is most frequently used in nuclear reactors, constitutes only 13% of nuclear energy costs (respectively 40% and 75% in coal- and gas-fuelled plants.

All you wanted to know about nuclear power- Politics/Nation-News-The Economic Times
The special waiver for India by the 45-country Nuclear Suppliers Group means that New Delhi can now access fuel and requisite technology from abroad and step-up power generation via atomic energy. The technology denial regime for a host of dual-use technologies would end.

The Telegraph – Calcutta (Kolkata) | Nation | Rs 100000cr carrot behind the waiver
A sum of Rs 100,000 crore that is up for grabs in deals may have helped India bag the Nuclear Suppliers Group waiver.

New Delhi has drawn up plans under which the state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (NTPC) are to set up a string of nuclear power plants — 15 by 2020 that will add 20,000MW to the current 3,300MW.

Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS): Public Power at the Nuclear Frontier – Washington History Day Topic Guide
The development of nuclear reactors on the Hanford Reservation in Central Washington during World War II encouraged electric utility planners to pursue the construction of nuclear reactors to satisfy rapidly escalating demands for electricity from both residential and industrial customers in the 1960s and 1970s. Public utility districts and municipal utilities throughout Washington joined in a cooperative named the Washington Public Power Supply System to finance the construction of three nuclear reactors to produce electricity for consumers throughout Washington State. Some historical questions: What impact has WPPSS had the electric power supply of the Pacific Northwest? The construction of WPPSS nuclear reactors was financed by the sale of bonds. What kind of return did WPPSS bond holders get on their investment?. Why wasn’t system completed? What characteristics of nuclear energy caused trouble for the system? How were the increasing electricity needs of the State met without WPPSS’s nuclear power plants? Be sure to consider other possibilities for historical questions as you analyze and interpret this topic.

David Lowry: The nuclear industry’s secret subsidies |
The industry may well be ‘back with a vengeance’, but taxpayers could be unwittingly subsidising its growth

Today, several hundred nuclear industry executives will gather in London for the British-based World Nuclear Association’s annual symposium.

A major session “ The nuclear renaissance: redefining the global framework“ chaired by Keith Parker, chief executive of the UK Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), will be devoted to the new opportunities expected as new nuclear build is back on the energy agenda, “with a vengeance”, in the words of former prime minister Tony Blair. / UK – Objectors bar path to Indian nuclear pact
A plan hatched in Washington and New Delhi is faltering because of objections raised in Dublin, Bern and Wellington.

The US-India civil nuclear pact – one of the centrepieces of President George W. Bush’s foreign policy – goes before 45 nations for approval today and tomorrow.

Why the Government’s nuclear energy policy will fail – Telegraph
The Government is committed to a new generation of nuclear power stations to fill Britain’s energy gap. But Tom Burke says the new nuclear policy is fundamentally flawed and is based on a misunderstanding of nuclear power’s economics.

Gordon Brown does not dither about nuclear power.


Nuclear Weapons News

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan – US-India nuclear deal harms both IAEA and NSG
* Stimson Centre Co-founder Krepon says deal will allow sidestepping of numerous international nuclear safeguards.
* Says nuclear trade would have to be stopped by consensus in case of Indian testing

WASHINGTON: The nuclear deal struck by the Bush administration with India is likely to do far more harm than good to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the two institutions designed to prevent proliferation, according to Michael Krepon.

A-bomb survivors tour world for peace –
A ship filled with survivors of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II began a worldwide voyage Sunday to spread a message of peace.

The 103-day Peace Boat tour, with some 100 survivors of the attacks, seeks to abolish nuclear arms worldwide by sharing victims’ personal stories, Japan’s Kyodo News service reported.

Gulfnews: Official says nuclear race with India likely
Pakistan’s defence attache in the UAE says a nuclear arms race will follow the Nuclear Suppliers Group decision to lift a three-decade ban on nuclear trade with India.

“I can foresee a nuclear arms race between the two countries and even China,” Pakistani Embassy Defence Attache Khawar Hussain told Gulf News in an exclusive interview.

Sarkozy: Israeli Attack Inevitable – by Gordon Prather
While the Republicans were nominating Sarah Palin “ who reportedly believes the Bush-Cheney war of aggression against Iraq was inevitable, part of “God’s plan“ French President Nicolas Sarkozy was in Damascus, warning the “leaders of Syria, Turkey and Qatar” that an Israeli attack on Iran also appears to be inevitable.

In comments broadcast on Syrian television, Sarkozy said

“One day “ whatever the Israeli governmen“ we could find one morning that Israel has struck. [Opinion] Hill and Bolton
The top nuclear negotiators of the United States, South Korea and Japan rushed to Beijing to hold intense discussions for three days last week. They gathered in Beijing after North Korea announced it will stop disabling its nuclear program while showing signs of reactivating its nuclear facilities. The North’s Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan did not show up in Beijing. The three negotiators helplessly returned home after asking China’s Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei to encourage North Korea to return to the six-way nuclear talks.

INDIA/US: Nuclear Waiver – Blow to Non-Proliferation
The special waiver granted to India by the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) from its nuclear trade rules is being seen as a massive setback to the cause of global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

The NSG’s waiver will allow India to resume nuclear commerce with the rest of the world with very few restrictions although India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has refused to accede to any other agreement for preventing the spread of, reducing the numbers of, or abolishing nuclear weapons.

Information Clearing House – US-Iraqi agreement leaked
I read about a leaked copy of the US-Iraqi agreement a few days ago when a radio station in Iraq mentioned some of its details, then it was mentioned in some Arab newspapers like Al-Qabas and Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. A couple of days ago, one Iraqi website (linked to an Iraqi armed resistance group) published the leaked draft on their web page for less than a couple of days before their website went offline. (Thankfully, I downloaded the 21 pages agreement and saved them before their server went down)

Reuters AlertNet – CHRONOLOGY-Rocky path of North Korea nuclear deal
North Korea has made moves to re-assemble its Soviet-era nuclear plant that can make arms-grade plutonium, setting back a disarmament-for-aid deal that the impoverished state struck with five regional powers.

The following is a brief chronology of how the tide turned on the implementation of the nuclear deal:

Under a Mushroom Cloud – TIME
A charter member of George W. Bush’s infamous “axis of evil” on account of its nuclear-weapons program, arms sales and brutal human-rights record, North Korea was unsurprisingly targeted by Bush for regime change from the start. That Kim Jong Il ” a man the American President once called a “pygmy”” has not only survived, but emerged in the twilight of the Bush era with an agreement eerily similar to the one he signed with Bill Clinton over a decade earlier, makes for a remarkable tale.


Department of Energy News – SRS ships last batch of legacy solvents out of S.C.
With the last shipment leaving the Savannah River Site (SRS), all legacy solvents from canyon operations have left South Carolina for necessary treatment before final disposition, according to an announcement Friday.\n\nWhen F-Canyon shut down for the last time in 2003, clearing out its systems of all legacy chemicals was a major task. This included uranium-bearing materials, plutonium-bearing materials and 50,000 gallons of PUREX solvents. PUREX (Plutonium and Uranium Extraction) was the chemical process used. – Breach Cases Could Cost U.S. Government Billions
The federal government recently suffered two potentially multibillion-dollar blows in long-running breach-of-contract litigation involving oil leases and spent nuclear fuel, and it now faces a third area of possible liability for broken Medicare contracts.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a $1 billion damages award by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for the government’s breach of oil and gas leases held by 11 companies — what court watchers say may be the largest single award by the claims court in its 150-year history.

Hanford managers disciplined for alleged eavesdropping – Tri-City Herald
Bechtel National has taken disciplinary action against four managers at the Hanford vitrification plant for reportedly eavesdropping on a meeting between safety representatives and the Department of Energy.

An investigation was begun by Bechtel 12 days ago after an anonymous call was made to an employee concerns program.

Hanford News: Lockheed Martin secures $3 billion for Hanford contract
A team led by Lockheed Martin Integrated Technology has won a $3 billion contract to provide support services at the Hanford nuclear reservation for up to a decade, the Department of Energy announced Wednesday.

The winning team, a limited liability company called Mission Support Alliance, also includes Jacobs Engineering Group and Wackenhut Services.

$4.8 million Hanford verdict award upheld
The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a $4.8 million verdict in favor of 11 pipefitters who claimed they were fired for raising safety concerns at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The workers filed suit nine years ago against Fluor Federal Services of Richland, a contractor at the south-central Washington nuclear site. They claimed they were laid off after refusing orders to install a valve they believed was too weak for the job.


Other Energy News

Peak Energy: Reprogramming The Conservative Media
The Huffington Post has an interesting post on the main problem facing the Democrats in the upcoming US elections – the conservative media (and the usual vote rigging tactics being put into play once again)

ENN: The World Spends $300 Billion Subsidizing Fossil Fuels

The world is spending $300 billion every year to subsidize fossil fuels that pollute the air, wreck the climate … and run the world’s economy.

So what if we, as taxpayers, stopped spending $300 billion on coal, oil and natural gas, and started spending it instead on wind, sun and water?

Michael Klare: Putin’s Ruthless Gambit | Energy Bulletin
The Bush Administration Falters in a Geopolitical Chess Match

Many Western analysts have chosen to interpret the recent fighting in the Caucasus as the onset of a new Cold War, with a small pro-Western democracy bravely resisting a brutal reincarnation of Stalin’s jack-booted Soviet Union. Others have viewed it a throwback to the age-old ethnic politics of southeastern Europe, with assorted minorities using contemporary border disputes to settle ancient scores.

Neither of these explanations is accurate.

The energy secret – understanding what drives the 21st century and why peak oil really matters
There are at least two invisible things that tend to be ferociously difficult to understand. One is relations among humans and the other is energy. Especially when the former want more of the latter. And for some reason, understandable perhaps but also unfortunate, we are mostly loathe to try to comprehend where our energy comes from. Thus there is a kind of ‘energy secret’: we cannot see energy and we don’t seem to be very good at understanding it, even though without it there is no life here or anywhere else in the universe.

Peak Oil Review -| Energy Bulletin
As last week began, Hurricane Gustav was threatening to tear up a substantial portion of the US’s oil production and refining capacity in the Gulf as well as devastating New Orleans. However, Cuba, cooler water and the hurricane steering currents intervened so that within hours it became apparent that Gustav was going to be a more benign hurricane than those of three years ago. At the last minute, Gustav turned west, thus sparing New Orleans from substantial damage, but instead managing to tear up most of Louisiana’s power grid. With this news, the oil markets focused on the demand destruction that was likely to ensue from sagging world economic activity.

Energy Bulletin: Heinberg: Is peak oil “A Misleading Concept?”
Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute

… There is a veritable cottage industry of economists and statisticians (including Daniel Yergin, Bjorn Lomborg, Peter Huber, and Michael Lynch) who tirelessly implore their readers not to panic over oil prices because The Market will always come to the rescue. As easy conventional oil depletes, tar sands, oil shale, and biofuels become more economic to produce. Even coal-to-liquids becomes feasible on a large scale. And, as everyone knows, there is an endless amount of coal.

Peak Energy: The Ford Global Challenge – A Green Car That Runs On Air?
The challenge set by Ford Global Technologies is to design a Model-T for the 21st Century – an inexpensive, innovative and sustainable car. Deakin University is the only Australian university and one of only five worldwide invited to participate in the Challenge, part of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the fabled Model T; the car that changed the 20th Century.

Deakin University’s ‘under wraps’ design for the Ford Global Challenge left for Detroit on 29th August carried by Deakin’s Tim de Souza (Chief Design Engineer) and Stuart Hanafin (Portfolio Coordinator). Deakin’s project is code-named T2 (‘TSquared’).

Oil and gas exploration all the rage on Capitol Hill | Business | – Houston Chronicle
Drill, drill, drill.

Suddenly, oil and gas exploration is all the rage on Capitol Hill.

With energy prices a red-hot political issue, the Democratic-controlled Congress, in the midst of its final, three-week legislative sprint before the presidential elections, can’t get enough of drilling bills.

Not that most Capitol Hill watchers seriously believe that — in the absence of a major supply disruption — any substantive energy legislation will actually emerge from this frenzy and become law.

“You don’t pass energy bills in the heat of the campaign season,” noted Frank Maisano, an energy specialist with Bracewell & Giuliani. Still, there should be plenty of action.

Global warming aside, fresh water dwindling
According to a study published in the July 14, 2000, issue of Science, one-third of the world’s population is water-stressed, with 8 percent classified as severely water-stressed, including the western United States and northern Mexico, South America, India, China, Africa surrounding the Sahara Desert, and southern Africa and Australia.

“Water stress” has profoundly different meanings in developed and developing countries. In Africa and many parts of Asia, it means inadequate water for drinking, sanitation and crops. In emerging economies such as India and China, it translates as an inability to meet the dietary and lifestyle aspirations of a growing middle class.

Green Car Congress: Toyota Releases Sustainability Report 2008, Looks to Liquid Peak
Concurrent with the release of its annual financial report, Toyota has published Sustainability Report 2008: Towards a New Future for People, Society, and the Planet. The report, which is the third since Toyota switched from environmental to sustainability reports in 2006, is structured around three themes: sustainable mobility (products), sustainable plant initiatives (manufacturing), and contributing to the development of a sustainable society—also referred to as “nurturing society.”

BBC NEWS | Americas | Brazil oil boom ‘to end poverty’
Brazil will use revenue from newly discovered offshore oil fields to eradicate poverty, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has vowed.

In a TV address, President Lula said Brazil would not squander the money but invest in technology and education.

The Associated Press: OPEC considers cutting oil production
With oil prices off nearly 30 percent from their highs of almost $150 a barrel, OPEC oil ministers are considering what was unthinkable just a few weeks ago — cutting back output to prop up the price of crude.

No one is predicting much of a cutback — if any at all. Still, such a move would not even have been thought of with oil prices setting record after record back in July.

The 65 mpg Ford the U.S. Can’t Have
If ever there was a car made for the times, this would seem to be it: a sporty subcompact that seats five, offers a navigation system, and gets a whopping 65 miles to the gallon. Oh yes, and the car is made by Ford Motor (F), known widely for lumbering gas hogs.

World’s richest got even richer last year: report | Markets | Bonds News | Reuters
The old saying holds true: The rich do get richer.

Even as world financial markets broke down last year, personal wealth around the world grew 5 percent to $109.5 trillion, according to a global wealth report released on Thursday by Boston Consulting Group.

Cheney colleague admits bribery in Halliburton oil deals – Americas, World – The Independent
A former colleague of the US Vice-President, Dick Cheney, has pleaded guilty to funnelling millions of dollars in bribes to win lucrative contracts in Nigeria for Halliburton, during the period in the Nineties when Mr Cheney ran the giant oil and gas services company.

Albert Stanley, who was appointed by Mr Cheney as chief executive of Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR, admitted using a north London lawyer to channel payments to Nigerian officials as part of a bribery scheme that landed some $6bn of work in the country over a decade.

Energy Tech Stocks: The Question Wall Street is Ignoring but the World Can’t: Is Oil Production Falling Faster Than Demand?
Every Wall Street forecast of where oil prices are headed next – up or down – seems to be based solely on the degree of “demand destruction” that can be expected. But what about “supply destruction?” Whatever the level of demand destruction, if supply destruction is greater, oil prices will rise, not fall.

Green Change: Giving constitutional rights to nature
This month, Ecuador will hold the world’s first constitutional referendum in which voters will decide, among many other reforms, whether to endow nature with certain unalienable rights. Not only would the new constitution give nature the right to “exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution,” but if it is approved, communities, elected officials and even individuals would have legal standing to defend the rights of nature.

Richard Heinberg’s MuseLetter: New Coal Technologies | Global Public Media
For coal, the future of both extraction and consumption depends on new technology. If successfully deployed, innovative technologies could enable the use of coal that is unminable by gasifying it underground; reduce coal’s carbon emissions; or allow coal to take the place of natural gas or petroleum. Without them, coal simply may not have much of a future. Are these technologies close to development? Are they economical? Will they work?

Incredible Sahara Forest Project to Generate Fresh Water, Solar Power and Crops in African Desert : TreeHugger


Nuclear Editorial and Opinions

Chasing nuclear energy windmills – The Boston Globe
THE REPUBLICAN convention was a barren desert of diversity, with the lowest percentage of black delegates in 40 years. Yet this 93 percent white gathering blithely stole from the race riots of the ’60s to lustily chant “Drill, baby, drill.” Compounding the irony, the first speaker hurling the verbal Molotov cocktail to the crowd was the only African-American the party could dredge up for prime-time, former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele.

Nuclear power doesn’t benefit Britain, other nations | | Statesman Journal
Professor Emeritus John C. Ringle (“U.S. would benefit from nuclear power, “Opinion, Aug. 21) asserts, “France, Great Britain, Japan and Russia derive great benefit from reprocessing, ” and concludes, “We [The US] should be doing the same.”

I write from London, England. I cannot speak for France, Japan or Russia, but can enlighten your readers that the chemical separation of plutonium from uranium and fission products in irradiated nuclear fuel through the process called nuclear reprocessing has not proved a great benefit to Britain. It has resulted in significant radiological pollution of the Irish Sea, angering our neighbors, Ireland, for several decades, as well as Nordic neighbors, Norway, concerned over radiological pollution of their pristine fishing waters.

The Adobe Press: Nuclear Energy is not Clean
Nuclear energy is increasingly being called upon as a clean and renewable alternative to fossil fuels. As the threat of global warming becomes clearer, nuclear energy is lauded as a carbon-free, clean energy solution.

This is an absolute myth. When looking at the entire fuel cycle, one quickly realizes the mining, milling, processing and transportation of uranium fuel for reactors are extremely energy intensive and will emit tons of global-warming pollution.

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