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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Call to Australian and Canadian govts not to sell uranium to India

International call not to sell uranium to India http://www.acfonline.org.au/news-media/media-release/international-call-not-sell-uranium-india April 15, 2015

QUÉBEC CITY, CANADA: The Australian Conservation Foundation has called on the
India-uranium1Canadian and Australian governments not to further advance controversial plans for uranium sales to India.

The call comes as Australian nuclear free campaigners join Indigenous landowners affected by uranium projects to present at the World Uranium Symposium in Québec.

The conference takes place against the backdrop of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Canada and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s trip New Delhi to advance planned uranium sales.

“Canada and Australia should show responsibility restraint and prudence, as India has been criticised widely over the safety, security and transparency of its nuclear industry,” ACF’s Dave Sweeney said. “Australia and Canada should not rush into uranium sales agreements with India while serious concerns about safety and security remain unresolved.”

Australia’s controversial uranium deal with India has been widely criticised, including by former safeguards director John Carlson, who was for two decades head of Australia’s safeguards regime and was a keen nuclear promoter.  Mr Carlson has raised concernsthat the new treaty’s administrative arrangements could substantially depart from Australia’s usual safeguards conditions, meaning Australia may be unable to keep track of what happens to uranium supplied to India.

Speaking from Québec ACF’s Dave Sweeney called on the Canadian and Australian governments not to further fuel instability in South Asia by selling uranium into the already volatile region.

“Uranium is not like other minerals.  It is the fuel for nuclear weapons and creates carcinogenic waste that lasts for thousands of years,” he said. “Fuelling danger and instability in India is not in the interests of Canada or Australia.”

April 22, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Canada, India, politics international | Leave a comment

Increased risk of nuclear weapons proliferation, with Canada-India uranium sales deal

Canada-India uranium deal will spur proliferation, experts warn Arms control experts say Canada sends the wrong signal to countries that play by the rules By Evan Dyer, CBC News 17 Apr 15 India test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile Thursday, just hours after signing a deal to buy 3,000 tons of Canadian uranium.The Agni-III missile, which has a range of over 3,000 kilometres, was fired from the Indian army’s test range on Wheeler Island in the Bay of Bengal. India declared the test a success…….While the terms of this week’s deal are not public, the nuclear cooperation agreement, first announced in 2010 and finalized in 2013, includes assurances that India use Canadian material for civilian purposes only……..

some nuclear proliferation experts say India has been able to make such a deal without abiding by the rules set out for most other countries that abide by the international non-proliferation regime. And they warn that countries the West has been attempting to bring into the rules-based system — such as Iran — will be less inclined to submit when they see the rules don’t apply to India.

Canadian technology used to gain bomb…..Of particular concern to the rest of the world was that India developed its bomb using nuclear material from a reactor it had acquired from Canada ostensibly for civilian use……..

Some experts fear Canada appears to be selling India uranium with fewer controls and conditions than it typically demands from NNPT member countries that do play by the rules.

“Normally there’s some sort of tracking and accounting system so that Canada would be receiving information from India very specifically about what Canada-sourced material is being used for,” says Trevor Findlay, a senior research fellow at Harvard University’s Managing the Atom project.

“In this case, because the agreement [to buy the uranium] is secret, we have no idea whether that’s in place, and it probably isn’t because the Indians have been pushing against that,” he told The Current.

Findlay and other experts warn that the special treatment for India shows other governments a country can ignore the rules, build the bomb, tough it out for a few decades and emerge on the other side as an accepted nuclear weapons power.

Already, Pakistan says the deals give India a strategic advantage, and Pakistan has blocked preliminary talks on the most important arms control initiative in years: a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty that would ban future production of weapons-grade material.http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-india-uranium-deal-will-spur-proliferation-experts-warn-1.3036540

April 18, 2015 Posted by | Canada, India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Efforts by India’s government to shut down Greenpeace

India government trying to shut us down: Greenpeace ABC 16 Apr 15 Greenpeace believes the Indian government has blocked donations from being deposited in its bank accounts, both locally and internationally.

greenpeace IndiaGREENPEACE INDIA accused the government Tuesday of preventing local donors from funding its
activities, saying the move was aimed at shutting down its operations in the country.

The latest allegation comes less than a week after the right-wing government suspended the environmental watchdog’s foreign funding licence and blocked several of its bank accounts, citing violations of rules governing international financial transactions.

Following the ban, Greenpeace said, many donors even in India were unable to deposit money into the group’s local accounts. It said it suspected the accounts had been blocked by the government.

The group described the fresh step as an all-out attack by the government to “suppress democracy and silence those with an alternative vision of development”. The government has also blocked our domestic accounts and is now preventing ordinary Indians from supporting our work for clean air, healthy forests, pesticide-free food and a liveable environment,” Samit Aich, executive director of Greenpeace India, said in a statement………http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2015/04/15/4217058.htm

April 17, 2015 Posted by | civil liberties, India | Leave a comment

India’s government acts to cut off funding for Greenpeace: freezes its bank accounts

Greenpeace bank accounts frozen by Indian government Campaign group accuses authorities of ‘attacking democracy’ and being angered by questions over India’s environmental record. The Indian government has frozen bank accounts of Greenpeace after accusing the international environment campaign group of encouraging “anti-development” protests in the emerging economic power.

The Union Home Ministry on Thursday suspended the official registration for foreign funding of Greenpeace India for six months and froze seven bank accounts connected with the organisation, The Hindu, a local newspaper, reported.

Samit Aich, the executive director of Greenpeace, said the move was “an attack on democracy”.

greenpeace India

“They don’t like the questions we are raising. We are environmental activists asking questions about the environment. There has been intimidation, illegal attacks for some time now,” he said……..

In January a Greenpeace campaigner was stopped by Indian officials from travelling to the UK to deliver a talk to MPs about the impact of mining on a poor communities and the environment in central India.

Government agencies had also found that “in the past couple of years, several UK nationals, including cyber experts and activists, had visited Greenpeace’s offices in India allegedly to help it organise protest activities”, the newspaper said.

In January the Indian government was told by judges to unblock funds received by Greenpeace which have been frozen by authorities since June.

The high court in Delhi, the capital, ruled that the previous freeze on funds that Greenpeace India had received from abroad was “arbitrarily illegal” and “unconstitutional”.

Over the past year, there have been a series of measures targeting Greenpeace and several other international NGOs working on similar environmental issues in India.

An intelligence report prepared for the incoming government of Narendra Modi, which took power after a landslide electoral win in May, accused several foreign-funded NGOs of stalling major infrastructure projects at the behest of unidentified foreign powers.

The report, which was leaked to the press, claimed that “people-centric” campaigns organised by NGOs blocked projects in seven sectors – nuclear power, uranium mining, thermal and hydroelectric power, farm biotechnology, extractive industries, and mega industrial projects – were aimed at keeping India in “a state of underdevelopment”.

In June, the government barred Greenpeace from receiving funds from Greenpeace International and Climate Works Foundation – some 30% of its funding. The remaining 70% is raised from local supporters in India. About £180,000 was frozen, before courts ordered its release.

Modi’s predecessor, Manmohan Singh, had complained that foreign-funded NGOs were blocking the expansion of nuclear power and the introduction of genetically modified products. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/10/greenpeace-bank-accounts-frozen-by-indian-government

April 11, 2015 Posted by | civil liberties, India | Leave a comment

Despite opposition and problems about liability, Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to buy nuclear reactors

Modi-Buy-NukesModi goes shopping for nuclear power in France and Canada Reuters | Apr 8, 2015,  Times of India, NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to advance the purchase of massive nuclear reactors and fuel from France and Canada to power a resurgent economy, overriding domestic opposition and concerns over liability laws as he embarks on a foreign tour.

In France, where Modi is making his first visit since taking office last year, he will seek to speed up price negotiations for the building of two reactors by state-run Areva SA of 1,650 megawatts each in the western state of Maharashtra………

NPCIL and the French supplier have been trying to hammer out a contract for the past five years, wrangling over the price as well as India’s strict liability law for the plant in Jaitapur.If completed in full, the Jaitapur project would be the world’s largest nuclear power station and a lifeline for the loss-making French company. But one industry source with knowledge of the talks said there was still disagreement over the price Areva would be paid for the plant’s power…….

Modi’s government is pushing for the reactors despite opposition from anti-nuclear groups as well as its own regional ally in the state, the Shiv Sena, who says it is not safe………http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Modi-goes-shopping-for-nuclear-power-in-France-and-Canada/articleshow/46851773.cms

April 11, 2015 Posted by | India, politics | Leave a comment

International Atomic Energy Agency Slams India’s Nuclear Regulations

flag-indiaGlobal Watchdog Slams India’s Nuclear Regulations NDTV All India | Written by Pallava Bagla | Updated: March 27, 2015 NEW DELHI:  India’s atomic regulatory body is not independent and lacks internal emergency arrangements, a draft report by the global nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, has said.
safety-symbol-SmIndia, it also said, should allow more safety inspections of nuclear plants by independent bodies. These
facts have often been stated by anti-nuclear activists.

The experts of the Integrated Regulatory Review Service made their assessment after visiting various nuclear facilities during a 12-day trip to India at the invitation of the government.

in-bedThe global experts said India’s nuclear regulatory body – the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board or AERB — should be separated from bodies that can unduly influence its decision making. They also said India should have a system of radioactive waste management……http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/united-nations-nuclear-watchdog-review-slams-indias-nuclear-regulation-750131

March 28, 2015 Posted by | India, safety | Leave a comment

The Nuclear Naval Arms Race between India and Pakistan

India and Pakistan Locked in a Nuclear Naval Arms Race A new report provides a useful summary of the naval nuclear dynamics in the Indian Ocean. The Diplomat By Franz-Stefan Gady March 28, 2015 A while back, I reported on the murky detailssurrounding Pakistan’s sea-based nuclear deterrent. Much of it remains a mystery, including its future submarine force.

Conversely, the Indian Navy still does not have a capable ballistic missile with which to arm the INS Arihant – New Delhi’s only ballistic missile submarine (which only began sea trials in December). India’s submarine fleet is also experiencing difficulties in maintaining its readiness rate, which has dropped below 40 percent.

However, both India and Pakistan are set to continue to develop their naval nuclear forces, as a new report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace points out. Yet, this should not automatically be a cause for alarm, Iskander Rehman, the author of a newly released Carnegie policy paper, argues.

“By further institutionalizing relations between their navies and by insisting on stronger transparency with regard to naval nuclear developments, both countries may succeed in adding a greater degree of stability to what otherwise promises to be a dangerously volatile maritime environment,” he notes.

Rehman highlights a few other interesting points about the naval nuclear dynamics in the Indian Ocean:

  • India’s pursuit of a sea-based nuclear strike force is the next logical step in its quest for an assured retaliatory capability.
  • To enjoy an effective sea-based deterrent vis-à-vis China, India’s other prospective nuclear adversary, New Delhi has to develop larger SSBNs with greater missile carriage capacity and more powerful nuclear reactors.
  • Pakistan’s naval nuclear ambitions are fueled primarily by the sense of a growing conventional, rather than strategic, imbalance between New Delhi and Islamabad.
  • By dispersing low-yield nuclear weapons across a variety of naval platforms, Islamabad aims to acquire escalation dominance and greater strategic depth and to reduce the incentives for a preemptive strike on its nuclear assets.

Interestingly, Rehman also underlines that, “the submarine-based leg of India’s nuclear triad will have a major impact on the nation’s existing command-and-control arrangements.”…….http://thediplomat.com/2015/03/india-and-pakistan-locked-in-a-nuclear-naval-arms-race/

March 28, 2015 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India to get $1 Billion ExIm Bank Credit, nearly all of it for renewable energy development

piggy-ban-renewablesRenewables to Get Most of $1 Billion ExIm Bank Credit  (Bloomberg) 27 Mar 15 – Renewable energy developers will receive “the vast majority” of a $1 billion credit line the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. extended to India, the institution’s president said.

Regulatory policies in India, including terms for selling power, are conducive to financing solar- and wind-power projects, and make it easier for the bank to ensure it will be repaid, said Fred Hochberg, who is also chairman of the Washington-based lender.

The comments are an indication that the ExIm bank’s funding for renewables is poised to rise ….. The credit line sealed during President Barack Obama’s visit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January is part of the U.S. effort to back an unprecedented expansion of clean energy in developing nations and check rising pollution blamed for global warming.

India’s Ambitions

Modi wants to install by 2022 five times as many photovoltaics as the U.S. has now, an ambition that may cost $160 billion, according to the Council on Energy, Environment & Water, a research group in New Delhi. Obama wants India to join in a global deal limiting greenhouse gases, and India’s ministers are seeking financial support from the West to cut the cost of emissions.

The U.S. developer SunEdison Inc. announced in January plans to build as much as 5 gigawatts of wind and solar power in India, and First Solar Inc., the largest U.S. solar manufacturer, is also developing power plants in the country. Regulations in India permit power purchase agreements that extend as long as 20 years. That makes it easier for banks to finance solar and wind projects…….http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-26/renewables-to-get-most-of-1-billion-exim-bank-credit

March 28, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, India, renewable | Leave a comment

Grave danger in Australia’s planned uranium sales deal with India

Australia and India face a graver test than cricket Against the backdrop of Australia and India squaring up in the World Cup cricket, the two nations now face a test with much graver consequences, write Dave Sweeney and Jim Green. SBS News, 26 Mar 15 When Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed a uranium deal with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last  September, he praised India’s “absolutely impeccable non-proliferation India-uranium1record”. This praise came despite the reality that India is actively expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal and its missile delivery capabilities.

Mr Abbott declined to answer serious questions about India’s nuclear weapons program or the inadequate safety standards in and inadequate regulation of its civil nuclear program. Instead, he offered a cricketing cliché, declaring that Australia and India trust each other on issues like uranium safeguards because of “the fundamentally ethical principle that every cricketer is supposed to assimilate – play by the rules and accept the umpire’s decision”.

Gaining comfort from clichés while ignoring inconvenient truths might work for those in Canberra and mining company boardrooms but it fails any real world test.

The proposed India uranium agreement is currently being considered by federal parliament’s treaties committee, and it has yet to be ratified by parliament. Submissions to the treaties committee have raised many serious concerns − and not just from the usual suspects.

Those raising concerns and objections include John Carlson, former Director-General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office; Ron Walker, former Chair of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors; Prof. Lawrence Scheinman, former Assistant Director of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; Princeton University physicist Dr M.V. Ramana; and nuclear arms control expert Crispin Rovere.

The uranium agreement with India weakens Australia’s nuclear safeguards standards, increases the chances of Australian uranium finding its way into Indian weapons and would lead to further undermining of nuclear checks and balances. If the uranium agreement is approved there will be sustained pressure for Australia to apply equally inadequate standards to other uranium customer countries. As John Carlson notes in his submission: “If the Government does compromise Australia’s safeguards conditions, inevitably this will lead to other agreement partners asking for similar treatment.”

Mr Carlson’s critique carries particular weight given that for over two decades he was the head of Australia’s nuclear safeguards office……..http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/03/26/comment-australia-and-india-face-graver-test-cricket

March 27, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Doubts that American nuclear companies will sell reactors to India

IS THE INDIA NUCLEAR AGREEMENT REALLY THE ‘BREAKTHROUGH’ OBAMA PROMISED? Chauthi Duniya, March 20th, 2015 Analysts and experts familiar with the negotiations say that the legal issues remain so complex that private U.S. companies may continue to shy away from new deals in India,….

The Indian Government has already slated sites for nuclear power facilities for Westinghouse Toshiba in the western state of Gujarat and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy in the state of Andhra Pradesh. “My feeling is that there’s not as much there,” said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the nonprofit Arms Control Association, a non-proliferation watchdog group. “The real test is, will GE or Westinghouse say ‘this is good enough for us’ or not and whether they will sign contracts.”…….

The key issue will be whether the conflict between international law and Indian law can be waved away by a memorandum from India’s Attorney General. The memorandum would have to say that the 2010 liability law “doesn’t mean what it says,” said a Washington lawyer familiar with the issues but who asked for anonymity to protect his professional relationships. Continue reading

March 21, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, India, politics international | 2 Comments

India going for $160 billion renewable energy business

renewable-energy-pictureflag-indiaIndia’s Renewable energy sector to generate $160 billion business in five years: Economic Survey By ET Bureau | 27 Feb, 2015 NEW DELHI: Positioning India as a responsible nation committed to sustainable development, the Economic Survey 2014-15 has said the Indian clean energy sector is likely to generate business opportunities to the order of $160 billion for the next five years. …….

Evoking the backdrop of the recent US-China climate pact, the Survey points out that this agreement is expected to provide a boost to the renewable energy sector globally.The document forecasts 2015 to be a momentous period with the world set to witness new agreements on climate change and sustainable development; it predicts this year will determine the course for international development and environmental policy agenda for the global community for the next 15 years.

It elaborates that in India renewable energy offers very good opportunity for businesses to set and scale up industry, leapfrog technologies, and create volumes.  Some of India’s major immediate plans on renewable energy include scaling up cumulative installed capacity to 170 GW that includes 100 GW of solar power by 2022 and establishing a National University for Renewable Energy.

To provide a big push to solar energy, two new schemes — ‘Scheme for Development of Solar Parks………..

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission launched in January 2010 seeks to establish India as a global leader in solar energy by creating policy conditions for its diffusion across the country. Installed capacity of Indian solar power in 2013-14 was 2647 MW. As per Bloomberg New Energy Finance/UNEP report, in 2013, there was a total investment of $6 billion in renewable energy in India.  http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46394697.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

February 28, 2015 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

India-Pakistan tensions – how easily a terror attack could trigger nuclear war

text-relevantMajor terror attack against India could trigger nuclear war: experts http://www.deccanchronicle.com/150226/world-neighbours/article/major-terror-attack-against-india-could-trigger-nuclear-war-experts PTI | February 26, 2015Washington: Pakistan may use nuclear weapons against India if the latter goes for a large scale military assault against it in retaliation for a major terror attack emanating from across the border, two top American experts have warned US lawmakers.

Given the presence of a strong government in New Delhi and the pressure on it from Indian citizens in the event of a repeat of 26/11 type terror attack, the ties between the two neighbours have greater danger of escalating towards a devastating nuclear warfare, in particular from Pakistan.

Such a dangerous scenario can only be avoided by the US working with Islamabad to ensure that there is no further large scale terror attack on India emanating from Pakistan, two top American experts. George Perkovich and Ashley Tellis, told members of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committe and Sub committee on Strategic Forces during a hearing yesterday. Continue reading

February 27, 2015 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

India could develop thermonuclear weapons: it is secretly enriching uranium

text-relevantIndia nuke enrichment plant expansion operational in 2015IHS BY DOUGLAS BUSVINENEW DELHI Fri Jun 20, 2014 (Reuters) – India is expanding a covert uranium enrichment plant that could potentially support the development of thermonuclear weapons, a defence research group said on Friday, raising the stakes in an arms race with China and Pakistan.

The revelation highlights a lack of nuclear safeguards on India under new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while sanctions-bound Iran faces minute scrutiny in talks with world powers over its own nuclear programme.

New units at the Indian Rare Metals Plant would boost India’s ability to produce weapons-grade uranium to twice the amount needed for its planned nuclear-powered submarine fleet, IHS Jane’s said.

The facility, located near Mysore in southern India, could be operational by mid-2015, the research group said, basing its findings on analysis of satellite imagery and public statements by Indian officials.

“Taking into account all the enriched uranium likely to be needed by the Indian nuclear submarine fleet, there is likely to be a significant excess,” Matthew Clements, editor of IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review, told Reuters.

“One potential use of this would be for the development of thermonuclear weapons.” No comment was available from the Indian government press office or the foreign ministry. Pakistan reacted with consternation, with a senior aide to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif saying the news underscored India’s “established hegemony”…….http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/06/20/india-nuclear-idINKBN0EV0JR20140620

February 21, 2015 Posted by | India, Uranium, weapons and war | Leave a comment

$12.5 Billion For Renewable Energy Funding from India’s largest bank

piggy-ban-renewablesflag-indiaIndia’s Largest Bank Commits $12.5 Billion For Renewable Energy Funding  Clean Technica February 19th, 2015 by   Private sector project developers in India’s rapidly growing renewable energy would be happy to have the backing of the country’s largest bank as they get ready to participate in cut-throat competitive bidding.

The State Bank of India (SBI) has committed to provide $12.5 billion in debt funding to renewable energy projects over the next few years. The announcement was made at the RE-INVEST summit organised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

The bank hopes to provide debt financing to 15 GW of renewable energy projects, most of which are likely to be based on wind and solar energy…….

Over the last few years some private banks in India have signed deals with development banks to provide loans at concessional rates. The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) is also expected to provide loans at low rates following its recent agreements with the European Investment Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the US Export-Import Bank……

This announcement by the country’s largest bank and the recent funding agreement worth $4 billion with the US is expected to boost the growth of the Indian renewable energy sector.

 works as a senior solar engineer at Mott MacDonald, a reputed engineering and management consultancy. She has conducted due diligence of several solar PV projects in India and Southeast Asia. She has keen interest in renewable energy, green buildings, environmental sustainability, and biofuels. She currently resides in New Delhi, India.   http://cleantechnica.com/2015/02/19/indias-largest-bank-commits-12-5-billion-renewable-energy-funding/

February 21, 2015 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

Now India too wants to sell nuclear reactors overseas!

Modi-Buy-NukesIndia to supply nuclear reactors to Sri Lanka By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, ET Bureau | 17 Feb, 2015 NEW DELHI: With an eye on checking China’s growing ambitions in South Asia, India has signed a landmark civil nuclear pact with Sri Lanka – the first such agreement to supply nuclear power reactors to a foreign nation – and decided to expand defence and security cooperation to address Colombo’s requirements.

This is the first civil nuclear pact that Sri Lanka has signed with any country. The agreement signed after Modi-Sirisena talks would help bilateral cooperation in the transfer and exchange of knowledge and expertise, sharing of resources, capacity building and training of personnel in peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including use of radioisotopes, nuclear safety, radiation safety and nuclear security, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. India also plans to supply indigenously made light small-scale nuclear reactors to Lanka which wants to establish 600 MW of nuclear capacity by 2030, government officials said. Delhi has been contemplating to export smaller sized nuclear reactors to friendly countries for few years now.

 

February 18, 2015 Posted by | India, marketing | Leave a comment

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