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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

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

Russia ramps up marketing nuclear technology to India

Russian-BearIndia and Russia hold major consultation to set up 22 nuclear power projects in India By ET Bureau | 30 Jul, 2014 NEW DELHI: India and Russia held major consultation in the realm of nuclear research away from the public eye ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Brazil in July.

Nuclear energy was a key element at Modi-Putin talks. Both countries are discussing to set up Russian assisted 22 nuclear power projects in India.

Last month a scientific forum was held at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in the Russian city of Dubna with  ..  http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/39250290.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

July 30, 2014 Posted by | marketing, Russia | 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

Russian firms to star in nuclear materials, nuclear weapons sales festival in London

Russian-Bearflag-UKDiary: Russians selling nuclear weapons expertise in Westminster? What’s not to like? Reception at Westminster Abbey, gala dinner in Kensington, maybe even a night of top-flight football at the Crabble. Business as usual for Alexander, Lyudmila and comrades, you might say 

Will there be a resounding silence in September at the World Nuclear Association symposium and exhibition in Central Hall, Westminster?

The world’s nuclear industries will be strutting their stuff: 700 business and leaders from 30 countries discussing such issues as the fuel cycle front-end (no, me neither), the security of nuclear fuel supplies, financing new builds, and uranium resources. There will be a reception at Westminster Abbey and a gala dinner at the Natural History Museum.

And, to crown it all, a discussion panel. That is due to feature Alexander Lokshin, deputy director general of Rosatom, the organisation that controls Russia’s nuclear weapons companies, research institutes and safety agencies; and Lyudmila Zalimskaya of Tenex, which exports the country’s nuclear materials, such as enriched uranium, and is big in the Emirates and China. So far 34 Russian delegates have booked (last year there were 70), but it’s early days. “We have not been told that they will not be allowed to come,” says an organiser. So, business as usual. Maybe…….http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/24/stephen-bates-diary-tenex-crabble

July 26, 2014 Posted by | marketing, Russia, UK | Leave a comment

Threat of nuclear strike against Ukraine ?

Russia Threatens Nuclear Strikes Over Crimea http://thediplomat.com/2014/07/russia-threatens-nuclear-strikes-over-crimea/ Russian FM Lavrov warned that Russia could resort to nuclear weapons if Ukraine tried to retake Crimea.By Zachary Keck July 11, 2014 A senior Russian official appeared to issue a nuclear threat against Ukraine over Crimea on Wednesday.

In recent weeks, numerous senior level Ukrainian officials have promised to return Crimea to Ukraine despite Russia’s decision to annex it earlier this year. Following his appointment as Ukraine’s new minister of defense, Colonel General Valeriy Heletey promised the parliament in Kiev he would work to retake Crimea from Russia.

“Believe me, there will be a victory parade — there will be for sure — in Ukraine’s Sevastopol,” Heletey said, referring to the capital city of Crimea. At the same hearing, Heletey pledged he “will work day and night for restoring the military capability of our armed forces.” Similar pledges have been made by Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, who has promised to oversee the “revival of the army,” as well as Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.

When asked about these comments at a press conference on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded, “If it comes to aggression against Russian territory, which Crimea and Sevastopol are parts of, I would not advise anyone to do this.” He then added, “We have the doctrine of national security, and it very clearly regulates the actions, which will be taken in this case.”

This is a not-so-subtle threat to use nuclear weapons to retain Crimea. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s conventional military capabilities have deteriorated significantly. As a result, it has come to be increasingly reliant on nuclear weapons to protect its national security. This has been reflected in its post-Cold War military doctrines, particularly the ones since 2000. These military doctrines have greatly reduced the threshold that would needed to be crossed before Russia would resort to the use of nuclear weapons.

Most notably, Russia’s military doctrines starting in 2000 introduced the concept of de-escalation, which is “a strategy envisioning the threat of a limited nuclear strike that would force an opponent to accept a return to the status quo ante.” In other words, Russian military doctrines have said that Moscow will use limited nuclear strikes in response to conventional military attacks against it. The most recent military doctrine issued in 2010, for example, states:

“The Russian Federation reserves the right to utilize nuclear weapons in response to the utilization of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it and (or) its allies, and also in the event of aggression against the Russian Federation involving the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is under threat.”

It was this military doctrine that Lavrov was referring to at the press conference this week. As quoted above, Lavrov began by emphasizing that Moscow sees Crimea as an integral part of Russian territory. He then stated that Moscow has a military doctrine that “very clearly” outlines how Moscow would respond to threats to its territorial integrity. The military doctrine “very clearly” states that the “Russian Federation reserves the right to utilize nuclear weapons” in these situations. This is not the first time a Russian official has issued a nuclear threat against its neighboring states. For example, as tensions rose between Russian and several former Soviet Union and Warsaw states in 2011, General Staff Chief Gen. Nikolai Makarov warned a Russian legislative body that:

“The possibility of local armed conflicts virtually along the entire perimeter of the border has grown dramatically. I cannot rule out that, in certain circumstances, local and regional armed conflicts could grow into a large-scale war, possibly even with nuclear weapons.”

To enhance the credibility of its threat to use nuclear weapons, Russia’s armed forces have conducted regular military drills since 2000 in which a limited nuclear strike is simulated. These drills have become increasinglycommon since the Ukraine crisis began. In some cases, Vladimir Putin has ordered snap drills simulating nuclear strikes.

July 12, 2014 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia’s huge nuclear waste dumps in Arctic seas

wastes-1Russia announces enormous finds of radioactive waste and nuclear reactors in Arctic seas August 28, 2012 by  Enormous quantities of decommissioned Russian nuclear reactors and radioactive waste were dumped into the Kara Sea in the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia over a course of decades, according to documents given to Norwegian officials by Russian authorities and published in Norwegian media. “…..The catalogue of waste dumped at sea by the Soviets, according to documents seen by Bellona, and which were today released by the Norwegian daily Aftenposten, includes some 17,000 containers of radioactive waste, 19 ships containing radioactive waste, 14 nuclear reactors, including five that still contain spent nuclear fuel; 735 other pieces of radiactively contaminated heavy machinery, and the K-27 nuclear submarine with its two reactors loaded with nuclear fuel.

Bellona’s two decades on the case

“Bellona has worked with this issue since 1992 when we first revealed the dangerous nuclear waste laying at the bottom of the Kara Sea,” said Bellona President Frederic Hauge.

He acknowledged, however, that a precise accounting from the Russian side could hardly be expected given Russia’s own ignorance of the extent of the dumped radioactive waste………

Making way for oil exploration

Bellona’s Igor Kurdrik, an expert on Russian naval nuclear waste, said that, “We know that the Russians have an interest in oil exploration in this area. They therefore want to know were the radioactive waste is so they can clean it up before they beging oil recovery operations.” He cautiously praised the openness of the Russian report given to Norway and that Norway would be taking part in the waste charting expedition.

Bellona thinks that Russia has passed its report to Norway as a veiled cry for help, as the exent of the problem is far too great for Moscow to handle on its own.

The most crucial find missing

Kudrik said that one of the most critical pieces of information missing from the report released to the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority was the presence of the K-27 nuclear submarine, which was scuttled in 50 meters of water with its two reactors filled with spent nuclear fuel in in Stepovogo Bay in the Kara Sea in 1981.

Information that the reactors about the K-27 could reachieve criticality and explode was released at the Bellona-Rosatom seminar in February…….http://bellona.org/news/uncategorized/2012-08-russia-announces-enormous-finds-of-radioactive-waste-and-nuclear-reactors-in-arctic-seas

 

July 2, 2014 Posted by | OCEANIA, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

AS Russia spens $millions on new submarines, it again delays cleanup of radiologically dangerous ship us

text-radiationVessel a radiological hazard  The scientific community in Russia has been unified, repeatedly underscoring to Russian media that the unloaded spent nuclear fuel aboard the ship poses a major environmental danger to the Arkangelsk Region, where Zvezdochka is located

Long-time push to dismantle huge Soviet nuclear battle cruiser again put off  The long struggle to dismantle the Soviet era nuclear missile cruiser Admiral Ushakov – which has been out of active duty for the past 17 years following a machinery accident – has been put off for another year over cost concerns, raising environmental and radiological concerns, the b-port news portal in Murmansk reported. Bellona, June 11, 2014 by  

The long struggle to dismantle the Soviet era nuclear missile cruiserAdmiral Ushakov – which has been out of active duty for the past 17 years following a machinery accident – has been put off for another year over cost concerns, raising environmental and radiological concerns, the b-port news portal in Murmansk reported.

A spokesman for Zvezdochka ship repair yard where the vessel is moored, yesterday told b-port that dismantlement works on the enormous vessel would not begin until 2016 at the earliest.

Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has included in its 2015 budget costs for drawing up engineering schematics for its dismantlement, but by all accounts, the project is running late and short on cash.

The financial crunch to dismantle the Admiral Ushakov comes as a bad time. The majority of international aid flowing to nuclear submarine dismantlement and radiological waste security via the G-8 Global Partnership plan has already been committed, laying the burden for securing the vessel on the Russian government.

ship-Russian-missile-cruise

Unilateral funding from the United States’ Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program has also reached its conclusion, and tensions between the West and Russia over the simmering crisis in Ukraine make it difficult for Moscow to find donors.

What’s more, the costs for dismantling nuclear battleships and cruisers run as much as 10 times more than dismantling the largest nuclear submarines, experts say, mostly because the expertise for nuclear battleship and cruiser deconstruction in Russia is in short supply, and international assistance almost a necessity, officials told b-port. This could become a problem with as many as three older nuclear battleships still on the Russian Navy’s registers.

For its part, the Russian Navy is instead pouring a mint into developing new submarine technologies at the expense of cleaning up legacy waste, said Nils Bøhmer, Bellona’s general manager and nuclear physicist

‘The Russian navy is currently spending millions on new submarines which is diverting funding from cleaning up radiological challenges left over from the past,” said Bøhmer.  “To have this vessel lying around for 17 years with spent fuel is a dangerous and uncertain situation.”…….

Vessel a radiological hazard

The scientific community in Russia has been unified, repeatedly underscoring to Russian media that the unloaded spent nuclear fuel aboard the ship poses a major environmental danger to the Arkangelsk Region, where Zvezdochka is located…….http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/radioactive-waste-and-spent-nuclear-fuel/2014-06-long-time-push-dismantle-huge-soviet-nuclear-battleship-put

 

June 13, 2014 Posted by | Russia, safety | Leave a comment

Russia tried floating nuclear plants – costly and risky

reactors-floatingRussia’s Plans for Floating Nuclear Power  Motley Fool, By Maxx Chatsko  May 4, 2014 |  “………. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have proposed building a floating nuclear power plant roughly five to nine miles offshore. Huh? Is that even possible?

I’m all about American innovation, but the idea was not originally conceived by MIT researchers, although their designs are novel. The original idea for floating nuclear power plants was actually developed in Russia. More surprising is that its more than just an idea — designs are being constructed and commercialized as you read this article. Is the world really ready for floating nuclear power?

Russia’s plans
The Russian designs for floating nuclear power plants were created by Rosatom, which originally planned to build up to eight facilities by 2015. Those plans were proven overly ambitious, but the first two reactors were installed (non-operable) last October and are expected to be deployed in Pevek. Each power plant will consist of two nuclear reactors ranging from capacities of 35 MWe to 325 MWe each and boasting a lifetime of 38 years. The plan is to tow the facility back to port every 12 years for one year of maintenance and fuel reloading. Some will produce power exclusively for the grid in remote locations lacking access to Russia’s abundant natural gas reserves and extensive pipeline network through underwater transmission cables, while others will act as cogeneration facilities capable of feeding the grid and desalinating large quantities of seawater. Meanwhile, the ship hulls are being constructed in Russia, although South Korea and China have been rumored to be possible partners in future facilities.

It’s not difficult to imagine the ambitious and pioneering projects experiencing cost overruns — and that’s exactly what has happened. Planned facilities have been canceled, moved, sold, bought, and resold in their relatively short existence. Whether the floating nuclear power plants can produce power economically remains to be demonstrated, although the cost is expected to drop with each new facility………

The potential risks are numerous,….Unfortunately, the risk increases for unproven and unverified designs. There would be unique threats such as terrorists, pirates, or stray tankers, as well as familiar threats such as equipment malfunctions…. environmentalists would be sure to interpret proposed designs as humanity’s disregard for marine life,

May 5, 2014 Posted by | Russia, technology | Leave a comment

Barents Sea a radiological danger, with its dead nuclear submarines

Kara-barents_seaRussia, Norway urge raising of dumped Soviet-era nuclear subs by Alexey Pavlov and Charles Digges (charles@bellona.noMURMANSK – Two derelict Soviet-era nuclear submarines lying at the bottom of the Barents Sea present a real radiological risk to surrounding waters and could have a negative impact on the delicate ecosystems of Arctic Seas, leading Russian scientists and Russia’s Ministry for Emergency Services have said. April 3, 2014 by 

MURMANSK – Two derelict Soviet-era nuclear submarines lying at the bottom of the Barents Sea present a real radiological risk to surrounding waters and could have a negative impact on the delicate ecosystems of Arctic Seas, leading Russian scientists and Russia’s Ministry for Emergency Services have said………

The long dormant conversation about raising the subs has been reanimatedbecause of the recent joint workshop held by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom and Bellona last month in Murmansk, where the Russian side expressed its wish to see the vessels retrieved.

Yet, the subs are hardly all of the radioactive hazards languishing at the bottom of the Kara Sea.

According to the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA), other submerged radiation hazards include 19 ships containing radioactive waste; 14 nuclear reactors, including five that still contain spent nuclear fuel; 735 other pieces of radioactively contaminated heavy machinery and 17,000 containers of radioactive waste.

Bellona Murmansk director Andrei Zolotkov said an international dialogue about raising radioactive Russian military machinery 20 years ago would have been impossible.

But the overwhelming tally of international cooperative successes on radiological and nuclear hazards in Northwest Russia are, he said, immeasurable. As such, the conference has opened the door for a joint Norwegian-Russian inspection, particularly of the K-159 submarine, later this year………

The radiological archipelago

The Bellona-Rosatom workshop reinvigorated discussion about radiological research surrounding the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, were the Soviets scuttled tons of solid radioactive waste and vessels containing spent nuclear fuel.

The task of past expeditions to this Davy Jones’ locker of radioactive debris has been to inspect sunken reactor cores, ships and containers of solid radioactive waste for leaking radionuclides, as well as to search out other radiation hazards that have not been charted – something Korolyov told the international gathering.

“We have to continue searching for what is lost,” he said, and citing that previous searches for barges loaded with reactor chambers have been unsuccessful, though they are assumed to be in the waters surrounding Novaya Zemlya…….. http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2014-04-russia-norway-urge-raising-dumped-soviet-era-nuclear-subs

April 5, 2014 Posted by | oceans, Russia | 2 Comments

Bad timing to let Russia be in control of Britain’s nuclear reactors

Russian-BearRussian nuclear power in the UK? We might want to think about that  theguardian.com, 13 Mar 14, 

We should beware Russia’s politicisation of gas supplies to Ukraine as we contemplate a deal with it to build an atomic plant in Britain

Clearly there is something jarring about the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) boasting about its positive negotiations with the Russians over building a nuclear power station in Britain just as a summit is due to begin in London about what sanctions can be taken against Moscow over its involvement in the Crimea.

If Vladimir Putin is threatening to once again use energy as a political weapon in the Ukraine by cutting off the country’s gas exports, then this is a bad moment to talk about state-owned Rosatom taking a critical stake in UK power infrastructure through the construction of an atomic plant.

Western Europe is already 30% (and in past years 50%) dependent on Russian gas, while London now hosts the headquarters of Gazprom’s global gas trading operation. But surely Britain does not want to open itself up to further dependence on Moscow by allowing its electricity to be generated by Rosatom? Well, few people five years back would have believed state-ownedChinese firms would form key partners in the project to commission the UK’s first new nuclear plant in 27 years at Hinkley Point in Somerset, and yet that is now settled.

So why not the Russians too, the little question of sanctions aside? After all, Rosatom has already signed a memorandum of understanding with the Decc and with nuclear and aerospace-contractor Rolls Royce……..

But the current biggest roadblock to any new nuclear facilities is financial. China and perhaps Russia may be willing to sink billions of pounds into Britain’s nuclear industry as a showcase for exports to the rest of the world, but even they will need help from the UK state like that being offered at Hinkley. The European commission may yet rule that the Decc “strike price” of £89.50 per megawatt hour is an illegal subsidy, which would leave any wider new nuclear programme by the Russians or anyone else dead in the water. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/12/russian-nuclear-power-uk-gas-ukraine-britain

March 13, 2014 Posted by | politics international, Russia, UK | Leave a comment

Russia aims to monopolise Europe’s nuclear industry?

Russia muscles into European nuclear industry, Global Post 23 Jan 14 A new deal with Hungary is set to boost Moscow’s influence as its grip on oil and gas wanes.BERLIN, Germany — A leading Hungarian official has said an agreement last week to give Russia a foothold in his country’s nuclear future is Budapest’s best deal in 40 years.

Hungary granted Russia’s state energy company Rosatom a $14-billion contractto double the capacity of the country’s sole nuclear power plant, a 2000-megawatt reactor in the Danube River city of Paks.

The funds would be offered as a 30-year loan package to be extended at below-market rates.

“These new reactors will surely enhance Hungary’s energy independence and security,” Russian President VladimirPutin told reporters.

devil-bargainBut one person’s bargain is another’s Faustian deal — in this case at least. Critics say the sweetheart deal may as well have been written by Mephistopheles, the demon of German folklore.

They say the project was never tendered for competitive bids despite an earlier expression of interest from the French energy company Areva. Skeptics worry it represents an effort by Putin to add nuclear energy to the oil and gas monopoly he’s used so effectively to cement Russia’s influence in Central and Eastern Europe.

“What are Hungarians to make of the fact that Prime Minister Viktor Orban has committed them to invest [billions] building two new nuclear reactors without consulting his own cabinet let alone parliament, industry experts, or the Hungarian people?” asked a pointed editorial in the English-language Budapest Beacon…..

The European Commission’s decision about the agreement’s compliance could have far-reaching implications.

In 2012, allegations of corruption surrounded the Russian bid to expand the Czech Republic’s Temelin nuclear reactor due to the involvement of a Czech firm under investigation for insider trading and breach of trust in connection with previous deals. Now it looks doubtful that project will go forward at all, according to Czech media.

Similarly, a Russian project to build a 2000-MW nuclear plant in Belene, Bulgaria, was excoriated as “a corrupt and completely illegitimate business project, aimed at producing abundant and expensive electricity in a country with excess capacity in a region of declining electricity demand,” in the words of Ognyan Minchev, a research fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Balkan Trust for Democracy. The Bulgarian parliament voted to scrap plans for the reactor in February last year following a protracted debate over its environmental impact and a new investigation into the projected costs……http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/140123/russia-nuclear-deal-hungary-power-influence

January 24, 2014 Posted by | politics international, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Russia placing nuclear missiles near Polish border

Baltic alarm over reports of Russian nuclear missiles in Kaliningradhttp://www.euronews.com/2013/12/16/baltic-alarm-over-reports-of-russian-nuclear-missiles-in-kaliningrad/   Russia has placed nuclear Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, which borders Poland andLithuania, according to reports in Russia’s Izvestia newspaper.

Izvestia appears to be confirming German newspaper reports this weekend that missiles were visible near the Polish border on satellite imagery.

The news of the advanced placement has caused alarm in the Baltic states, wary of Russian militarism after decades of dominance by the Soviet Union.

Russia announced in 2011 that it would place missiles in Kaliningrad to counter Nato’s plans for a Western anti-missile shield.

Nato’s system of radars and missiles aims to neutralise the threat from Russian missiles by intercepting them mid-flight.

But Russia says the shield upsets the fine strategic balance, which has kept East and West locked in a nuclear stalemate since the end of the cold war.

December 17, 2013 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Russia keen to sell nuclear reactors to USA

Russian-BearMegatons to Megawatts 2.0: Russia eyes new nuclear project with US energy industry Rt.com  December 11, 2013 “……..Rosatom enters US nuclear energy market Marking the end of the HEU-LEU agreement signed in 1993, the head of Russia’s Rosatom Kiriyenko--tsarnuclear energy corporation, Sergey Kiriyenko, has met with his American counterpart in Washington, the US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and his deputy Daniel Poneman.

The parties “compiled a list of mutually interesting projects” Kiriyenko told journalists on Tuesday. The head of the Russian nuclear energy industry named one such project: an international fast-neutron reactor, but refrained from specifying the others.

Kiriyenko said that the HEU-LEU agreement has become “unique experience” which paved the way for future Russia-US cooperation in the nuclear energy sphere.

Rosatom has already signed more than $5.5 billion worth of direct contracts, with US nuclear power generators outside the framework of the HEU-LEU agreement, Kiriyenko acknowledged.

“It is the basis that allows our companies to discuss further cooperation options after the completion of this project,” Kiriyenko said…….. http://rt.com/news/heu-leu-agreement-over-037/

December 12, 2013 Posted by | marketing, Russia, USA | Leave a comment

Russia aggressively marketing nuclear power to South Africa

Russian-Bear

the draft Russian agreement, which Business Day has seen, had a veto clause, which would allow the parties to block the involvement of a third country

Russia turns up heat on ambitions for nuclear build in SA  flag-S.AfricaBUSINES DAY LIVE, BY CAROL PATON, 29 NOVEMBER 2013 THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT IS PUMPING UP THE PROPAGANDA SURROUNDING THE COUNTRY’S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA WITH A SERIES OF REPORTS ON THE OFFICIAL INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTER VOICE OF RUSSIA THAT A DEAL HAS BEEN STRUCK TO BUILD SOUTH AFRICA’S PLANNED NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS.

Several countries are jockeying for position in South Africa’s nuclear build programme, which envisages the construction of three nuclear power plants to supply 9,600MW at the cost of at least R1-trillion. The government has said the procurement process is close to finalised and there is high expectation among bidders that it will go ahead next year.

fighters-marketing-1

This week, the temperature over the nuclear build was further heightened when state-owned Russian corporation Rosatom hosted a nuclear suppliers’ forum in Johannesburg “with the aim of establishing and developing lasting partnerships in South Africa”.

At the forum on Monday, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) and a Rosatom subsidiary. Continue reading

November 30, 2013 Posted by | marketing, Russia, South Africa | Leave a comment

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