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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Australia breaks international Treaty, in selling uranium to India

India-uranium1Seen from the perspective of adherence to non-proliferation norms and commitments If Australia exports uranium to India, Australia would violate its obligations of the Treaty of Rarotonga, which binds it from not indulging in such trade. Article 4 of the Rarotonga Treaty requires India to comply with safeguards requirements of Article III(1) of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Article III(1) of the NPT is about reaching a comprehensive safeguards agreement with IAEA. Instead, India has only acknowledged safeguards on certain foreign-supplied reactors and facilities. India’s safeguards agreement is based upon the IAEA’s ‘facility specific’ safeguards.

Australian uranium sale to India will be subjected to weak monitoring safeguards or ‘facility specific’ of IAEA, contrary to nuclear deals Australia has with other countries

AUSTRALIAN PROSPECTIVE NUCLEAR TRADE WITH INDIA – THE CONTROVERSYhttp://www.eurasiareview.com/21082014-australian-prospective-nuclear-trade-india-controversy/AUGUST 21, 2014   BY 

 Australia is expected to sign a civil nuclear agreement with India during the visit of Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott early next month. Negotiations have been concluded to smooth the path for uranium imports from Australia. The news came out when hundreds of thousands of Indian men and women have protested against the expanding nuclear industry.

These protests have been a regular feature in Koodankulam (Tamil Nadu), Jaitapur (Maharashtra) and Gorakhpur (Haryana) and at least five activists have lost their lives since 2010 in their struggle against the Indian government’s decision without taking the affected parties on board. Radioactive waste from uranium mining in the country’s east is reportedly affecting adjacent communities. Thousands of Indians suffer from the effects of uranium mining as related to poor technical and management practices.

Australia controls the planet’s largest known uranium reserves. Uranium is a controversial and debatable subject in Canberra, because it can be used both for civil and military purposes. Australia had previously cancelled plans to sell uranium to India as it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but it was Indo- US nuclear deal which paved the way for the ban’s lifting.

The move of lifting the ban came despite a parliamentary report on nuclear safety regulation in India had emphasized grave nuclear safety concerns and organizational flaws comparable international norms. India’s auditor general in this report has designated the country’s nuclear industry as insecure, disordered and in many cases, unregulated. The report underlined the fact that there is no national policy on nuclear and radiation safety after almost 30 years and is not much ardent to adopt world standards and best practices.

It is an unpredictable and unjustified security situation into which Australia is selling uranium. Australian government’s idea to sell uranium to India was strongly criticized by the Australians but the government seems inclined to disregard it. Analysts in Australia are opposing the Uranium sale without preconditions and any meaningful concessions from India, like Indian ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and stopping the production of nuclear bomb making material.

Seen from the perspective of adherence to non-proliferation norms and commitments If Australia exports uranium to India, Australia would violate its obligations of the Treaty of Rarotonga, which binds it from not indulging in such trade. Article 4 of the Rarotonga Treaty requires India to comply with safeguards requirements of Article III(1) of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Article III(1) of the NPT is about reaching a comprehensive safeguards agreement with IAEA. Instead, India has only acknowledged safeguards on certain foreign-supplied reactors and facilities. India’s safeguards agreement is based upon the IAEA’s ‘facility specific’ safeguards.

Australian uranium sale to India will be subjected to weak monitoring safeguards or ‘facility specific’ of IAEA, contrary to nuclear deals Australia has with other countries.Andrew Davies from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute highlighted IAEA’s inability to screen exactly where uranium sent to India from Australia if comprehensive monitoring safeguards are not applied. “For example, if 100 tones go into a civilian nuclear program and 90 tons of products come out, they don’t know where the missing product was diverted from,” he convincingly argues.

A defense research group, IHS Jane’s has revealed that India is increasing its uranium facility that could support the expansion of nuclear weapons. India is trying to buy foreign sources of uranium so she can use its domestic reserves for a nuclear arms race with Pakistan. India is expanding its nuclear power programme to use its own uranium for the production of more nuclear weapons. Adding Australian uranium into India’s energy mix would have serious fall outs on prevailing strained relations between India and its nuclear-armed neighbors. Can Australia trust India to not use Australian uranium for weapons manufacture?

Non-proliferation is a top agenda item when it comes to Pakistan, Iran or North Korea, but it is an inoperable standard when it is India or Israel. The commencement of nuclear trade with India – first by Washington in 2008 and currently by Canberra – has immense repercussions. It will profoundly upset the proliferation equation for other countries in the region. India-Australia nuclear deal will aggravate India-Pakistan nuclear rivalry and exacerbate Pakistan’s security dilemma. Both countries have nuclear weapons, so this commitment by Aussies will no doubt intensify the India-Pakistan tensions. Nuclear trade with India will profoundly upset strategic stability of the South Asian region.

August 22, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

Hong Kong still restricting foodstuffs imported from Japan’s irradiated areas

plate-radiationThe government of Hong Kong rejected Japanese request to lift restriction on Japanese imports http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/08/government-hong-kong-rejected-japanese-request-lift-restriction-japanese-imports/  On 8/13/2014, Hayashi, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries visited Hong Kong to request the government of Hong Kong to lift the restriction on Japanese imports however Ko Wing Man, the chief of the department of food and hygiene rejected the offer.

Since Fukushima accident, the government of Hong Kong stop importing vegetables, fruits, milk, milk based drinks and powdered milk from 5 prefectures to consist of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba.

Ko Wing Man commented “Lifting the restriction is difficult at this moment.”.

August 18, 2014 Posted by | China, Japan, politics international | Leave a comment

Positive progress in U.N.s nuclear diplomacy with Iran

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranU.N. Nuclear Chief Positive After ‘Useful’ Iran Visit: Reuters http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-n-nuclear-chief-positive-after-useful-iran-visit-reuters-n182671 18 Aug 14,

Iran has given a firm commitment to cooperate with a U.N. nuclear watchdog investigation into suspected atomic bomb research, the head of the agency said after what he described as a “useful” visit to Tehran on Sunday. Yukiya Amano made the trip ahead of an Aug. 25 deadline for Iran to provide information relevant to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s long-running inquiry into what it calls the possible military dimensions of the country’s nuclear program.

The issue is close ly tied to Iran’s negotiations with six world powers aimed at ending a decade-old standoff over its atomic activities and dispelling fears of a new Middle East war. Iran denies its program has any military objectives.

 “This has been a short visit, but a useful one,” Amano said in the Iranian capital after talks with President Hassan Rouhani and other senior Iranian officials, according to a statement issued by the IAEA in Vienna.

Since Rouhani was elected in mid-2013, Tehran has promised to work with the U.N. agency to clear up the suspicions about its nuclear aspirations. After meeting Amano, Rouhani said on his English-language Twitter account that Iran was “determined to forge accord with the IAEA in the shortest possible time span. God willing, it can be done in less than a year.”

August 18, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Australia now seen by China as a military threat – due to pact with USA

China Declares Australia a Military Threat Over US Pact http://www.therealnewsmatters.com/2014/08/china-declares-australia-military.html By Joshua Philipp, Epoch Times , 17 Aug 14  China’s state-run media have declared Australia a threat to its national security, after Australia finalized a 25-year military pact with the United States.

The United States currently has 1,200 troops from the Marine Corps and Air Force training with Australian troops for humanitarian and disaster relief. The defense agreement will increase the number of U.S. troops at Darwin in northern Australia to 2,500.

The Chinese regime is none too pleased about the agreement, however.

Li Jie, rear admiral of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy, told Want China Times that Australia could pressure China’s supply lines in the Strait of Malacca in a conflict over the South China Sea.

“Australia is therefore likely to become a threat to China’s national security,” it states.

Global Times reported that if a war broke out between China and Vietnam or the Philippines, the United States could deploy submarines and aircraft from Australia….
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/877760-china-declares-australia-a-military-threat-over-u-s-pact/

August 18, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

Serious flaws in India-Japan Nuclear Deal

flag-indiaReasons to Oppose the India-Japan Nuclear Deal - Nuclear Free by 2045 ? Dennis Riches 14 Aug 14 In late July and early August, a leading member of India’s Coalition for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament, Kumar Sundaram, visited several Japanese cities in order to speak to the mass media and Japanese citizens about the proposed Japan-India nuclear energy agreement. He timed his visit to Japan to precede Abe,-Shinzo-nuke-1that of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the end of August. Modi will meet with his Japanese counterpart in hopes of finalizing a deal to allow the purchase of vital components of nuclear power plants that are proposed or under construction

Mr. Sundaram wished to draw attention to numerous problematic aspects of India’s nuclear energy ambitions, negative aspects which the mass media, intellectuals and politicians have failed to criticize sufficiently.
On July 31, Mr. Sundaram gave a press conference in Tokyo at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. During his hour at the microphone, he gave a detailed explanation as to why he believes the plans for nuclear energy development in India will lead to disastrous consequences for both India and foreign countries. This report summarizes the information given by Mr. Sundaram, with additional background information and commentary.
The Nuclear Energy — Nuclear Weapons Connection……….
In addition to the US deal, India now has bilateral arrangements with France, Canada, Russia, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and Australia. The present push for a Japan-India agreement could be seen as a multi-lateral effort that aims to facilitate nuclear deals for multinational corporations.
The preferential treatment for India set an obvious dangerous precedent. It signaled to other nations that there was a double standard, and it suggested that if they too defy international agreements to not develop nuclear weapons, they merely need to endure rogue status until pragmatic considerations force other nations to legitimize their nuclear power status. It signaled to China that the US was tacitly approving India’s nuclear weapon status in order to have a strategic balance to China in the region. It signaled the same to Pakistan, with the added message that its political instability would prevent it from getting the same treatment as India……..
The present Japanese government is willing to abandon the strong stance on disarmament and non-proliferation and instead just pay lip service to the issue, as it did this month with regard to the 69th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Times of India reported that on August 10th, the foreign ministers of India and Japan, Sushma Swaraj and Fumio Kishida, met on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum to exchange what, to my skeptical eye, was no more than cynical pieties regarding the Hiroshima memorial. ………
Neglecting safety, local opposition, environmental damage, economic viability, and the decline of nuclear energy in developed nations
Mr. Sundaram pointed out that even among various Indian government agencies the methods of developing nuclear energy have not been unanimously approved. Official environmental reviews have raised strong objections. Even among those who are, in general, supportive or undecided about nuclear power have voiced objections about the methods and the scale of the nuclear expansion. Nonetheless, diplomatic imperatives always sideline these concerns.
For example, after the Bhopal disaster, laws were strengthened to make foreign corporations liable for the damage they may cause, but these laws are now being rolled back in order to please the corporations that are building nuclear reactors. …….
Mr. Sundaram concluded by emphasizing that the pursuit of nuclear energy is an anachronism. India has been targeted by multinational corporations who can no longer make profits from nuclear energy in the countries where they built plants in the past. In this sense, India might be the lynchpin that the global nuclear industry is depending on for its survival. Indian elites are allowing themselves to be used in this way in order to legitimize the nation’s status as a nuclear power, but they have failed to consider whether it is necessary for any other reason……

August 16, 2014 Posted by | India, politics international | Leave a comment

Finland’s Environment Minister call sto end nuclear deal with Russia, and increase renewable energy

logo-Finland-GreensGreens’ Niinistö calls for gov’t to reconsider Rosatom for nuclear plant uutiset 15 Aug 14 Cooperating with the Russian nuclear contractor Rosatom would be a step backward in Finland’s attempts to reduce energy dependency on Russia, says Green League party chair and Environment Minister Ville Niinistö. The Minister said that energy production should remain in domestic hands.

Russian-BearGreen Environment Minister Ville Niinistö said he believes that giving the Russian nuclear plant builder Rosatom a permit to construct a new nuclear power facility in Finland would be strange, given that the rest of the European Union is working to reduce dependency on Russian energy. Rosatom is a Russian state-owned nuclear power construction company…….

He pointed out that the Czech Republic had rejected a bid by Rosatom to build a nuclear power plant and that Britain is also re-evaluating possible cooperation with Rosatom in light of the crisis in Ukraine.

Niinistö also called for a national programme to increase the use of home-grown renewable energy. http://yle.fi/uutiset/greens_niinisto_calls_for_govt_to_reconsider_rosatom_for_nuclear_plant/7414053

August 16, 2014 Posted by | Finland, politics international | Leave a comment

Ukraine tensions cause stalling of U.S.-Russia nuclear deal

U.S.-Russia Nuclear Deal Stalls as Tensions Over Ukraine Rise NYT, By  and AUG. 2, 2014 WASHINGTON — The growing confrontation between Washington and Moscow over Ukraine has derailed a recent accord that promised one of the most expansive collaborations ever between the countries’ nuclear scientists, including reciprocal visits to atomic sites to work on projects ranging from energy to planetary defense.

It was only 11 months ago that the American energy secretary — Ernest J. Moniz, a former M.I.T. professor who has championed scientific programs that would bury the Cold War competitions between the United States andRussia — went to Vienna to sign the agreement, an indication of how recently the Obama administration believed it had a chance of building on a quarter-century of gradual integration of Russia with the West.

Handshakes and congratulations exchanged with Mr. Moniz’s Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Kirienko, sealed an arrangement that would let Russian scientists into, among other places, the heart of the American nuclear complex at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where the first atomic bomb was constructed 70 years ago, and a dozen sister laboratories devoted to the making of the American nuclear arsenal. In return, American scientists would be allowed deep into Russian nuclear facilities, including the birthplace of the Soviet bomb……

Today, the real-life accord is on ice. This year, the Energy Department canceled nuclear meetings, symposia and lab visits with Russia……http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/world/europe/us-nuclear-deal-with-russia-fails-as-tensions-rise.html?_r=0

August 4, 2014 Posted by | politics international, Russia, Ukraine, USA | Leave a comment

Russia considers leaving 1987 intermediate range nuclear forces (INF) treaty

Moscow may walk out of nuclear treaty after US accusations of breach http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/29/moscow-russia-violated-cold-war-nuclear-treaty-iskander-r500-missile-test-us

Russia said to be on point of leaving 1987 treaty, after Obama administration said it violated the accord with tests of R-500   in Moscow and   The Guardian, Tuesday 29 July 2014

Russia may be on the point of walking out of a major cold war era arms-control treaty, Russian analysts have said, after President Obama accused Moscow of violating the accord by testing a cruise missile.

There has been evidence at least since 2011 of Russian missile tests in violation of the 1987 intermediate range nuclear forces (INF) treaty, which banned US or Russian ground-launched cruise missiles with a 500 to 5,500-mile (805 to 8,851km) range. But the Obama administration has been hesitant until now of accusing Moscow of a violation in the hope that it could persuade Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to stop the tests or at least not deploy the weapon in question, known as the Iskander, or R-500.

Washington has also been reticent because of the technical differences in definition of what constitutes the range of a missile under the INF treaty. That ambiguity now seems to have dropped away. According to Pavel Felgenhauer, a defence analyst and columnist for the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Russia has indeed broken the treaty by testing the R-500 which has a range of more than 1,000km.

“Of course, this is in gross violation of the 1987 treaty, but Russian officials including Putin have said this treaty is unfair and not suitable for Russia,” Felgenhauer said. “The United States doesn’t have [medium-range missiles] but other countries do have them, such as China, Pakistan and Israel, so they say this is unfair and wrong.”

Russian press reports have suggested the missile may even be in deployment, with state news agency RIA Novosti reporting in June that the “Russian army currently uses its Iskander-M and Iskander-K variants.” Felgenhauer said he doesn’t believe the missile has been deployed, although he said it’s entirely possible that Russia will leave the treaty amid tensions with the US.

“The present situation of a new cold war in Europe – and not even cold, at least not in Ukraine right now – it’s a situation in which Russia can abrogate the 1987 treaty, and the possibilities are rather high,” Felgenhauer said.

Russian officials have previously criticised the 1987 treaty, including former defence minister Sergei Ivanov. In 2013, Ivanov, then presidential chief of staff, said of the treaty: “We are fulfilling it, but it can’t last forever.”

  • According to Kremlin-linked analyst Sergei Markov, Russia has a far greater need for medium-range cruise missiles than the |US, because military rivals including China are located near its borders and because Moscow lacks the Americans’ long-range bombing capabilities.”Russia would be happy to leave this agreement, and I think Russia is using the Ukraine crisis to leave the agreement,” Markov said.

    As for Russia’s complaints about US aegis missiles, Felgenhauer said they reflect the genuine belief among Kremlin top brass that the US missile defence has a secret attack capability and poses a threat to Russia.

    “This was a normal Soviet practice that missile interceptors had the in-built capability to be used as an attack missile,” Felgenhauer said.

 

July 30, 2014 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Serious effects on Europe’s nuclear power if Europe puts sanctions on Russia

exclamation-Smflag-EUSanctions on Russia have potential for nuclear impact, PennEnergy, July 23, 2014  International Digital Editor  Recent events in Ukraine have put Europe’s energy security again under scrutiny, and while there is great concern about the bloc’s vulnerability to Russia retaliating to sanctions by turning of the gas, not as much attention has been paid to the nuclear power aspect.

Russia is highly influential in terms of the EU’s nuclear power capability.

It is an important supplier of the raw material for nuclear fuel, uranium, accounting for 18 per cent of EU supplies.

The BBC reports that 30 per cent of the enrichment work to make uranium suitable for power generation is done by Russian companies.

Meanwhile, many countries within the EU have a significant number of older, Russian-designed nuclear reactors – 18 in all. Finland has two – and all the reactors in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary (who are in deals with Russia to build two more) are Russian-designed.

These states are heavily reliant on their nuclear capacity, with 50 per cent of Slovakia’s electricity and 45 per cent of Hungary’s being accounted for by these plants.The fuel for a reactor also has to be supplied in a form – called a fuel assembly – that meets the specifications of the particular reactor, and for Russian-designed nuclear reactors the fuel comes from a Russian company, TVEL. Anything that disrupts the supply of the fuel assemblies needed for these countries’ reactors would be a serious problem for them. A recent European Commission report argued that, “Ideally, diversification of fuel assembly manufacturing should take place, but this would require some technological efforts because of the different reactor designs.”

Because of the implications to countries’ power sectors and, subsequently, their economies, many are reluctant to back aggressive sanctions against Russia……..http://www.pennenergy.com/articles/pei/2014/07/sanctions-on-russia-have-potential-for-nuclear-impact.html

July 28, 2014 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, Russia, Ukraine | 1 Comment

United Nations verifies that Iran has changed all enriched uranium into safer form

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranUN: Iran Turns Nuclear Material Into More Harmless Forms http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/20/iran-nuclear_n_5604070.html  By GEORGE JAHN 07/20/2014 VIENNA (AP) — The United Nations says Iran has turned all enriched uranium closest to the level needed to make nuclear arms into more harmless forms.

Tehran had committed to the move under an agreement with six powers last November that essentially froze its atomic programs while the two sides negotiate a comprehensive deal. They extended those talks Saturday to Nov. 24.

Iran had more than 200 kilograms (over 250 pounds) of 20 percent enriched uranium when the agreement was reached and began reducing it shortly after. The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency said Sunday in a report obtained by The Associated Press that all has now been converted or diluted.

At 20 percent, enriched uranium can be converted quickly to arm a nuclear weapon. Iran denies wanting such arms.

July 21, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international, Uranium | Leave a comment

New law on renewable energy funding passed in Germany, accepted by European Union

flag-EUGerman green energy law clears final hurdle http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL6N0PM3KB20140711?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0  FRANKFURT, July 11 (Reuters) – Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, approved on Friday revamped legislation on funding renewable energy, clearing the way for the law to come into force on Aug. 1.

The far-reaching law, which seeks to cap support payments for renewables without jeopardising the country’s shift towards a low carbon economy, had hung in the balance, after months of negotiations, due to wrangling with European Union authorities over its compatibility with state aid guidelines.

But Brussels granted its consent this week, providing encouragement to the Bundesrat, which represents Germany’s 16 states, to vote through the reform package to the renewable energy act (EEG) in its Friday session.

“Germany has embarked on a long project to derive the energy supply of an industrial nation from renewable energy sources, which is historically without parallel,” Stefan Wenzel, environment minister of the state of Lower Saxony, told the Bundesrat.

Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, approved the reform package two weeks ago. On Wednesday, European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Berlin had allayed concerns that German industry might receive unfair advantages through exemptions from obligatory payments towards the cost of funding green energy. He also said Germany had cleared up two other remaining issues – the need to bring foreign renewable power into planned auctions for green energy from 2017 and to change the system of allowing industrial companies, which produce their own power, full discounts on the EEG after that date.

In 2011 Germany embarked on a strategy to accelerate its exit from nuclear energy in light of Japan’s Fukushima crisis, stepping up its renewables expansion and lowering its dependence on power stations that run on gas and coal.

Green energy from sources such as wind or sunshine has already reached a share of 25 percent of Germany’s power mix and is meant to reach 45 percent by 2025 and 60 percent by 2035.

The EEG reform is aimed at lowering the cost of green energy funding for consumers, among a number of other elements that will be introduced in future, including compensation of conventional producers for loss of market share. (Reporting by Markus Wacket and Vera Eckert; Editing by Gareth Jones)

July 12, 2014 Posted by | Germany, politics international | Leave a comment

India’s nuclear deal with USA, Russia and France is a very bad one

flag-indiaIndia – now nuclear and environmental dissent is a crime Ecologist, Kumar Sundaram 4th July 2014 “…….Nuclear power is the new must-have India made advance promises for reactor purchases from France’s Areva, Russia’s Atomsroy export and US giants like Westinghouse and GE in exchange for these countries’ support for an exemption for India at the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) in 2008.

India was thus permitted to engage in international nuclear commerce despite its status as a nuclear weapons state outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

It is under the pressure of the commitment to the international nuclear lobby that the Indian government has been bulldozing everything that stands in their way:

July 5, 2014 Posted by | India, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has doubts about India becoming a member

flag-indiaNuclear export group divided over ties with India – diplomatYahoo 7 news July 2, 2014, By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) – An influential global body that controls atomic exports is divided over establishing closer ties with India, meaning the nuclear-armed Asian power may have to wait a while longer before joining.

Diplomatic sources said different opinions were voiced in a debate on relations with India – a non-signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – at an annual meeting of the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) last week in Buenos Aires.

The United States, Britain and other members have argued in favour of India joining the trade body, established in 1975 to ensure that civilian nuclear trade is not diverted for military aims……the country would be the only member of the suppliers’ group that has not signed up to the NPT, a 189-nation treaty set up four decades ago to prevent states from acquiring nuclear weapons.

This has caused some NSG states to raise doubts about India joining their club, which plays a pivotal role in countering nuclear threats and proliferation. Some also argue that it could erode the credibility of the NPT, a cornerstone of global nuclear disarmament efforts……..https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/24372928/nuclear-export-group-divided-over-ties-with-india-diplomats/

July 5, 2014 Posted by | India, politics international | Leave a comment

Iran reduces its planned nuclear enrichment program

diplomacy-not-bombsIran eases demands for nuclear capacity at Vienna talks: Western diplomats BY LOUIS CHARBONNEAU AND PARISA HAFEZI  VIENNA Thu Jul 3, 2014 (Reuters) - Iran has reduced demands for the size of its future nuclear enrichment program in talks with world powers although Western governments are urging Tehran to compromise further, Western diplomats close to the negotiations said on Thursday.

The diplomats, who spoke to Reuters at the start of a two-week round of negotiations between Iran and the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, said that despite some movement from Tehran it would not be easy to clinch a deal by their self-imposed deadline for a deal of July 20.

Tehran’s shift relates to the main sticking point in the talks – the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges Iran will maintain if a deal is reached to curb its nuclear program in exchange for a gradual end of sanctions. Ending the decade-long dispute over Iran’s nuclear ambitions is seen as instrumental to defusing tension and averting a new Middle East war.

“Iran has reduced the number of centrifuges it wants but the number is still unacceptably high,” a Western diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity and without further detail……….

Other disputes include the duration of any nuclear deal, the timetable for ending the sanctions, and the fate of a research reactor that could yield significant quantities of plutonium, an alternative fuel for nuclear weapons.

The current round of talks in the Austrian capital will run until at least July 15.  (Additional reporting by Fredrik Dahl in Vienna and Mehrdad Balali in Dubai; Editing byMark Heinrichhttp://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/03/us-iran-nuclear-exclusive-idUSKBN0F810H20140703

July 5, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Hungary to borrow $13.7 billion from Russia, to expand nuclear power

nukes-hungryHungary approves multi-billion nuclear loan ENCA 23 June 2014 – BUDAPEST – Hungarian lawmakers on Monday approved a multi-billion-euro loan from Russia for an upgrade of the country’s only nuclear power plant, a deal critics say increases Hungary’s dependence on Moscow.

In January, Prime Minister Viktor Orban struck an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin for Russia’s atomic energy corporation Rosatom to build two new reactors at the Paks plant — located about 100 kilometres south of Budapest.

The loan agreement, which was signed in March but required approval by Hungary’s parliament, stipulated that Moscow would lend Budapest up to 10 billion euros ($13.7 billion) — around 80 percent of the estimated cost.Parliament gave the loan the green light by 100 votes for, 29 against with 19 abstentions.

Details of the deal were not published nor was any formal bidding process for the plant’s expansion ever launched, prompting an ongoing enquiry from the European Commission into possible breaches of EU law.  http://www.enca.com/hungary-approves-multi-billion-nuclear-loan

June 24, 2014 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

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