The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

The end of nuclear power is becoming the only solution to its financial mess

text-stop-nuke-plantsNuclear Power Dirty Bomb   The Market Oracle, Oct 28, 2013  By: Andrew_McKillop  “………LOSS AVOIDANCE IS THE ONLY SOLUTION   Turning off the nuclear tap will soon become the only solution. Civil nuclear power plant growth and  proliferation has already cancelled in several countries, including Germany, Japan and Switzerland, and is likely to be placed on hold, because of nuclear debt and the sheer un-economic nature of nuclear power, in other countries. Of course we can be sure that China and India will come very late to the party and may need the “tweak” of one or more worst-case reactor meltdowns to make them move.

We can however be sure that Nuclear Nirvana’s murky underside of a Pandora’s Box of evils will soon cause a sea shift in ruling elite thinking.

Options exist for the rapid removal of nuclear power from the scene. Since 2008, in more than a half of OECD countries exposed to the realities of the sovereign debt crisis, electricity consumption has fallen, sometimes by double-digit amounts in 3 years. The need for nuclear power is cut by this real world trend. To be sure there are also long-term and rising nuclear debts due to accumulated wastes and to the near-term future crisis of reactor decommissioning – which in a sane world would only hasten the total abandonment of this failed option for supplying “cheap, clean and safe” power.

The options are better known than ever. The pathology of “we didnt know” has worn awfully thin after the Fukushima disaster. The same applies to Depleted Uranium weapons, nicely reserved for expert commentators to pontificate about – but which cause real world cancers and economic loss every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The choices and options are on the table for those who want to admit them. Unfortunately our current political decider elite is congenitally unable to admit them. Soldiering along and muddling through with the deadly, high cost option of nuclear power will continue – but not for long. As ever, one disaster is worth a lot more than a million words.

October 30, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, politics international | Leave a comment

Iran upbeat about progress in nuclear negotiations with the West

Iran pledges “new approaches” with U.N. nuclear agency CBC News 28 Oct 13, A senior Iranian negotiator was upbeat Monday about the chances of progress in the latest round of talks about a proposed U.N. investigation of his country’s nuclear program, promising “new approaches” meant to end nearly two years of deadlock.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi spoke to reporters after meeting with Yukiya Amano, the head of the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, and shortly before IAEA and Iranian officials sat down to negotiate again about the terms of the IAEA investigation……

Araghchi did not give details about Iran’s position, but in remarks to reporters loaded with optimism, he spoke of a “very useful and constructive meeting” with Amano, and said he was “very hopeful” that the talks on the proposed probe will break “with a good result.”

Beyond any new Iranian initiative Araghchi’s visit had significance on its own. He and other senior Iranian officials have repeatedly expressed willingness to work on reducing fears about Iran’s nuclear aims since reformist Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took office in August……

October 29, 2013 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

US State Dept official offends Iran with provocative comments

The Comment That Offended Iranians More Than a Nuclear Threat Iran’s leaders don’t worry we’ll nuke them. They worry we’ll never trust them. By  @Crowley TIME    24 Oct 13, Octogenarian billionaire and GOP megdaonor Sheldon Adelson caused a ruckus Wednesday by suggesting that the U.S. lob a nuclear missile into the Iranian desert. The idea, as Adelson described it, was to issue a warning shot that would show Tehran “we mean business” in nuclear negotiations. American media outlets hyped Adelson’s characteristically hawkish fantasy. But Iran appeared unperturbed by his talk of a nuclear first strike.

That’s because the real furor in Tehran now is over another provocative remark, this one from Wendy Sherman, a senior State Department official who is America’s lead negotiator in talks with Iran. In recent testimony to Congress, Sherman said that the U.S. had to be cautious about cutting a deal with Tehran, because recent experience with the Iranians over their nuclear program—which Iran has repeatedly concealed—shows that “deception is part of the DNA.”

“Sherman’s DNA comment has created a big stir in Iran,” says Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Adelson not so much.”

How could a diplomatic slight like Sherman’s outweigh Adelson’s talk of a nuclear first strike?

One reason has to do with the messengers. Adelson may bankroll Republicans, but he’s not setting American policy. And no one takes seriously his fantasy of a nuclear shot across Tehran’s bow.

Sherman, by contrast, speaks directly for the U.S. government. That’s why conservative leaders and media outlets in Iran are lashing out at what they call Sherman’s insult, uttered at a Senate hearing earlier this month. One hard-line paper is calling for a boycott of the talks if she’s present. A cartoon published by Iran’s Fars news agency depicts Sherman as a broom-riding witch…….

the flap also goes to a core problem with the nuclear talks: mutual distrust. The U.S. worries that Iran is feigning flexibility to win relief from sanctions, with no real intent to halt its nuclear program. Iran thinks America sees the nuclear issue as a stalking horse for regime change. The parallel suspicions could make a deal impossible……


October 26, 2013 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Russia’s control over American uranium sites

Moscow’s American uranium Politico, By MATT BAKER | 10/18/13 The state-owned Russian nuclear energy company that built Iran’s nuclear reactor in Bushehr is about to finalize a transaction that will give Russia absolute control over one of America’s largest uranium mining sites.

On Oct. 18, nuclear energy juggernaut Rosatom will complete a corporate deal giving it 100 percent control over Canada-based uranium mining company Uranium One, including the company’s U.S. operations in Wyoming, the epicenter of U.S. uranium production. Moscow’s acquisition of Uranium One will also provide Rosatom — the world’s leading builder of nuclear power plants — with uranium exploration rights in Arizona, Colorado, and Utah……

Rosatom’s nuclear projects also include ventures with China and Venezuela, two countries with less-than-friendly relations with the United States. Russian news agencies also quoted Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in May 2010 as saying that he discussed with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev the possibility of building nuclear power plants in Syria.

To put it mildly, with a client roster like this, questions abound regarding Rosatom’s acquisition of Uranium One. When Rosatom acquired its first controlling shares in 2010, the deal came under congressional fire. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla), Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), and Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) penned a letter to then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warning that “signing over control of this U.S. uranium processing facility to the Russian government unnecessarily jeopardizes U.S. security interests.”……

Fast-forward three years, and the proposed transfer of 100 percent control of Uranium One to Rosatom has barely elicited a peep from Congress or the administration. Nor has it raised an eyebrow in Ottawa. In March, Rosatom received approval from the Supreme Court of Ontario, Canada. …..

While the American regulatory regime is a trusted system, the regime in Moscow is not. Russia has a history of transferring dangerous materials and technologies to rogue regimes, and Rosatom, according to a 2007 report on nuclear nonproliferation by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), “denied [GAO’s] request for access to facilities under its control.”……..

given Russia’s track record, can we trust Rosatom to play by our rules?

October 18, 2013 Posted by | politics international, Uranium | Leave a comment

The risks of UK surrendering to China the control of its nuclear program

questionSurely we, too, should be asking more questions of a chancellor who appears to think that Chinese money buys him out of the intractable difficulties and uncertain costs of nuclear power? 

 What guarantee have we that in depending on Chinese finance, we haven’t surrendered more than we bargained for?

What does China want with Britain’s nuclear industry? flag-UKHilton The Guardian, Thursday 17 October 2013 The Chinese state is not philanthropic. Questions about safety, sovereignty and cost should be asked before we take its money For a chancellor so keen on the defence flag-Chinaof UK national sovereignty against democratic Europeans, George Osborne’s unbridled enthusiasm for Chinese investment in the UK’s critical infrastructure is striking. If all these memorandums of understanding come to fruition, Chinese entities will hold important stakes in water in the UK, airports, IT infrastructure and now nuclear power generation, all without a serious national debate on any potential risks such involvement might bring……. Continue reading

October 18, 2013 Posted by | China, politics international | Leave a comment

Thousands march in Niger to protest against AREVA

5,000 march against French uranium miner in Niger Els | October 12, 2013 Thousand of protestors marched against French uranium miner Areva (EPA:AREVA) in the remote town of Arlit in Niger on Saturday.

Areva has been operating in Niger for more than 50 years with two sites, Somair and Cominak, currently producing, and its long-term deal with the government of Niger is up for renegotiation at the end of 2013.

The roughly 5,000 protesters in Arlit were out in support of a Niger government audit to determine how to better distribute revenues from the two mines Reuters reports:

“We’re showing Areva that we are fed up and we’re demonstrating our support for the government in the contract renewal negotiations,” Azaoua Mamane, an Arlit civil society spokesman, said in an interview with a private radio station.

“We don’t have enough drinking water while the company pumps 20 million cubic meters of water each year for free. The government must negotiate a win-win partnership,” Mamane said.

The two mines together produce 4,500 tonnes of uranium for export to France and another project at Imouraren, which will be the largest uranium mine in Africa, is set to start operations in 2015.The Somair mine was back to full production in August, after a suicide attack in May killed one worker and injured 14 partially shutting down mining.

Prices for uranium are  languishing at 8-year lows of $34 a pound and have not recovered since the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011

October 17, 2013 Posted by | Niger, politics international, Uranium | Leave a comment

Only nuclear-free Chinese ships to enter New Zealand ports

China assures ships are nuclear free New Zealand Herald, By Audrey Young @audreyNZH Oct 11, 2013 China has given a guarantee to the Government that its three ships visiting Auckland today comply with New Zealand anti-nuclear law, Prime Minister John Key says.

He said he signed off the paper work – required under New Zealand’s anti nuclear legislation – a week or 10 days ago that says he is satisified it complies.

He also reiterated that the United States would be welcome if its ships met the criteria of being neither nuclear powered or armed.

A Chinese destroyer, a frigate and a supply ship are due to arrive in Auckland today……..

The United States policy has long had a policy of neither confirming nor denying nuclear weaponry or capability and China’s willingness to vouch for its ships is in stark contrast.

New Zealand’s anti-nuclear policy first promoted by the Labour Government in 1984 eventually led to a suspension of the Anzus security alliance that New Zealand had with the United States and Australia.

October 11, 2013 Posted by | China, New Zealand, politics international | Leave a comment

Constructive diplomacy: Iran’s President Rouhani promises a nuclear proposal

diplomacy not bombs 1flag-IranIran president pledges nuclear plan Sky News, September 28, 2013 Iran says it hopes a proposal to be presented to major powers next month will ‘serve as an even more effective step to settle the nuclear issue’.

Iran’s new president was closing a hectic week at the United Nations where his foreign minister held landmark talks with the US.

At a closing news conference, Rouhani said that Iran would present a proposal in talks with six major powers scheduled for October 15-16 in Geneva.

‘We hope it will serve as an even more effective step to settle the nuclear issue,’ Rouhani said.Rouhani said he hoped to resolve the nuclear row in a ‘short period of time,’ a day after his foreign minister said that major powers had set a goal of a deal within one year…….We say explicitly that we do not seek a bomb. We say explicitly that we believe the building of a bomb is dangerous for us, for our region.’

Rouhani said Iran would hold true to promises made in talks with the six powers – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US.

‘We will never deviate from our commitments,’ he said. ‘We want to provide more assurances if necessary to the world that our program will remain peaceful.’

Rouhani’s latest remarks come after the UN atomic agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said it had ‘very constructive’ talks with Iran. ….

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

West may compromise on Iran’s uranium enrichment

diplomacy not bombs 1flag-IranWest may drop demand that Iran halt all nuclear work: EU minister ABC News 3 Oct 13, Middle East correspondent Matt Brown reports from Jerusalem A top European diplomat says Western governments may be softening their stand on Iran’s controversial nuclear program and may allow it to continue some uranium enrichment.

The foreign minister of Lithuania, which holds the European Union’s presidency this year, says Iran may be allowed to continue peaceful nuclear activities if it strikes a deal with Western nations.

That would ease a long-standing demand by the UN Security Council to cease all uranium enrichment because of concerns the nuclear program may be aimed at building a bomb.

Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, has repeated claims that the program is entirely civilian but also signaled a softer approach to the West than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…….

October 4, 2013 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Obama’s efforts to placate Israel, over negotiations with Iran

Obama tries to reassure Israel over Iranian nuclear negotiations @erindelmore  09/30/2013  President Obama today sought to reassure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States still has Israel’s back.

On Monday, Obama and Netanyahu met at the White House, just three days afterObama’s historic phone callwith the leader of Iran.

Newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Obama spoke on the phone on Friday, marking the highest-level direct contact between the two countries in more than 30 years.

Obama vowed to proceed with caution toward a potential diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear standoff, and reaffirmed an “unshakable bond” with the Israeli people.

“Because of the extraordinary sanctions… the Iranians are now prepared, it appears, to negotiate,” Obama said, adding that negotiations “will not be easy” and that lifting sanctions would require “the highest standards of verification.”

Obama promised to consult Israel and other allies closely and pledged to “take no actions off the table, including military options.”……..

While Obama on Monday reinforced his step-by-step approach toward dealing with Iran’s nuclear program, which Iranian officials insist is for civilian energy use, Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview on Sunday that a deal could be reached quickly……..

October 1, 2013 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Japan finally accepting foreign help in Fukushima crisis

Hear-This-wayAUDIO Japan agrees to foreign help with Fukushima   Mark Willacy reported this story on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 

PETER LLOYD: To nuclear issues of another kind now, and Japan has finally accepted international help to sort out the mess at the Fukushima nuclear plant.  It’s agreed to let the French help decommission and dismantle it.  Our Tokyo correspondent Mark Willacy says it’s a climb-down that signals how little success Japan has had stopping the spread of contaminant since the earthquake two and a half years ago. Continue reading

September 26, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Japan, politics international, safety | 1 Comment

No place for nuclear weapons in Iran – Rouhani

RouhaniHassan Rouhani tells UN there is no place for nuclear weapons in Iran ABC News 25 Sept 13 Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani says nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s security and that he is prepared to reach a “framework” for managing his country’s differences with the US.

In his address to the UN General Assembly in New York, Mr Rouhani blasted “violent” international sanctions against Iran and called on US president Barack Obama to avoid the influence of “warmongering pressure groups”……..

Earlier, Mr Obama used his speech at the UN General Assembly to respond to recent friendly overtures from Iran over its nuclear program.

Mr Obama cautiously lauded signs Iran’s new moderate president wants to pursue an agreement…….

September 25, 2013 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Niger government wants French uranium company AREVA to stop ripping it off

areva-medusa1Niger audits Areva uranium mines, seeking better deal By Daniel Flynn and Abdoulaye Massalatchi NIAMEY | Fri Sep 20, 2013  (Reuters) - Niger has ordered an audit of French nuclear group Areva’s (AREVA.PA) uranium mines in the West African country as it presses for a better deal in talks over a new long-term contract, Mining Minister Omar Hamidou Tchiana told Reuters.

Areva’s two mines in Niger – Somair and Cominak – produce the fuel for roughly one-third of France’s nuclear power, providing some of the cheapest electricity in the West.

Niger, a former French colony and one of the world’s poorest countries, has long complained it does not reap enough benefits from these resources……..

Extractive industries watchdogs, including the local branch of Publish What You Pay, have accused Areva of a lack of transparency in its revenues and costs in Niger…….

Previous Niger governments have struggled to substantially increase the state’s take from uranium and details of the 2003 mining contract have been kept confidential. The IMF estimates Niger’s gross domestic product at around 5.5 billion euros, only just over half of Areva’s revenues of 9.3 billion in 2012……..

September 21, 2013 Posted by | France, Niger, politics international, Uranium | Leave a comment

“Confidentiality Agreement” on nuclear sales USA to India

Decks cleared for nuclear pact with US firm, TNN | Sep 21, 2013 NEW DELHI: India and the US have cleared the decks for a pre-early works agreement betweenNPCIL and US nuclear company, Westinghouse. National security adviser (NSA) Shivshankar Menon said, “The two sides have resolved all government-to-government permissions and understandings required for enabling commercial negotiations”. The two sides signed a “confidentiality agreement” last week that would allow both sides to share confidential data with each other.


Speaking at an event at Aspen Institute on Friday, Menon said the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) will soon begin safety evaluations of Westinghouse’s AP1000 nuclear reactor that they propose to sell to India.Westinghouse is already building four of these reactors in China, the first of which is expected to begin operations next year……

September 21, 2013 Posted by | India, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Anger in India, as government goes for a “sweetheart deal” with US nuclear companies

Buy-US-nukes‘Sweetheart’ nuclear deal for US companies sparks furore , TNN | Sep 20, 2013, NEW DELHI: The government’s effort to find an honourable way around the constraint of the nuclear liability law without actually violating it ran into rough weather on Thursday with the opposition accusing it of seeking to dilute the law for the sake of US and other foreign suppliers.

The opposition seized upon attorney general Goolam E Vahanvati’s opinion, as reported in TOI, that the country’s nuclear operator NPCIL could waive the right to recourse to suppliers’ liability in a commercial contract for a foreign-supplied flag-indianuclear plant, to allege that the government was seeking to dilute the provision in the nuclear liability law that would hold foreign reactor suppliers liable in cases of mishaps caused by faulty and defective equipment………. Continue reading

September 20, 2013 Posted by | India, politics international, USA | Leave a comment


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