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 BUSINES 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.
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. Read more »
PHOTOGRAPHY This Island Holds The Decaying Remains Of The Soviet Nuclear Fleet, Gizmodo, 26 Nov 13 ASHLEY FEINBERG Whereas most ruins of decades past are often strictly off-limits, Russia’s Kildin island is a veritable petting zoo of the creepiest decaying military equipment you will ever get to see up close.
Located in the Barents Sea just 120km from Norway, the island is home to a host of used-up reactors and other parts from Soviet nuclear submarines. High-level radioactive waste is relegated to the island’s tunnels for long-term storage, so everything you’re seeing in these pictures consists of the low to intermediate level waste left scattered above ground. And according to one Soviet coastguard who witnessed the dumping in April of 1991, the level of safety precautions was “scandalous”.
Seeing the slow decay of these once-awesome feats of military prowess is oddly beautiful, if not totally creepy. Below are some of photographer Ralph Mirebs’s photographs of the Soviet ghost island, and you can the rest of his work over at English Russia……………… [English Russia] HTTP://WWW.GIZMODO.COM.AU/2013/11/THIS-ISLAND-HOLDS-THE-DECAYING-REMAINS-OF-THE-SOVIET-NUCLEAR-FLEET/#
Russia Flexes Its Nuclear Muscles, The National Interest, Nikolas K. Gvosdev November 14, 2013 Two decades after the Cold War removed the Damocles’ sword of mutually-assured destruction in a sea of nuclear fire from over our heads, and, in the words of George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger and Sam Nunn, “made the doctrine of mutual Soviet-American deterrence obsolete“, the Russian decision to update, modernize and upgrade its nuclear forces is seen as a worrisome harbinger of a new era of strategic competition between Moscow and Washington. …….
it is important to note important gaps between stated plans and executable outcomes. Reading the press releases of the Russian Ministry of Defense alone does not provide the entire story.
For one thing, the next generation systems have flaws. Nearly half of the tests of the Bulava missile—meant to be the signature piece of the new Borei-class boomers—have failed, with some experts questioning whether the other tests which were classed as “successes” are also masking problems…….
For an Obama administration that holds out the promise of a world without nuclear weapons, however, the Russian decision to renovate its nuclear posture creates real difficulties, especially when Russia is also resuming long-distance patrols and conducting exercises. (The Russian claim that these new efforts are in direct response to U.S. missile-defense efforts also creates political difficulties.)…… the Russian push to upgrade its nuclear forces may push the administration to scuttle any plan for shifting the U.S. nuclear posture to the most minimal one needed for deterrence.http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/russia-flexes-its-nuclear-muscles-9399
Russia’s floating nuclear plants to power remote Arctic regions, The Conversation, Tony Roulstone, 12 Nov 13 “…..Russia is embarking on an ambitious and somewhat imaginative programme of building floating nuclear power stations…… These reactors, mounted on huge, 140m by 30m barges, are being built in the Baltic shipyard in St Petersburg and will be floated through the Norwegian and Barents Seas to where they will generate heat and electrical power in the Arctic.
The first, Academician Lomonosov, has been built and its two 35MWe KLT-40S reactors are now being installed. Lomonosovis destined for Vilyuchinsk, on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East where she will be operating by 2016. Up to ten similar plants are destined for similarly remote and unpopulated areas……. The KLT-40S reactor is fuelled by 30-40% enriched uranium, which falls outside what would be allowed for civil use (concern about weapons proliferation limits enrichment to very low levels). The reactors are built in factories and assembled in shipyards, where productivity is much higher and quality standards easier to police than on construction sites. But military reactors are designed with little thought for costs and because of their small power output it’s very likely that their lifetime generating costs will be several times that of large, grid-connected reactors, and many more times higher that of a gas power station…….
Just how safe Russian military reactors are is clouded in secrecy; we just don’t know how safe the KLT-40S is. Russia has successfully operated nine nuclear icebreakers over the past 50 years. On the other hand we know that seven Russian nuclear submarines have sunk, some due to reactor problems and others due to weapons explosion onboard, and a further ten reported reactor accidents. So this reactor’s pedigree is not unblemished.
Cooling systems for civil reactors have become very complex and this is a prime cause of soaring construction costs. It is difficult to install in a naval vessel the number of systems and separate them so that they provide redundancy should one fail. …..
As with many other aspects, we do not know whether the containment structure of the Russian reactors will be effective. Though the Russians are being imaginative in developing barge-mounted reactors to address a problem specific to their geography and their needs, the lack of openness makes it hard to see how useful their nuclear technology can be in the West……. http://theconversation.com/russias-floating-nuclear-plants-to-power-remote-arctic-regions-19994
Stuxnet infected Russian nuclear plant By Darren Pauli on Nov 8, 2013 Jumped airgap, Kaspersky boss says. http://www.scmagazine.com.au/News/363578,stuxnet-infected-russian-nuclear-plant.aspx Stuxnet had ‘badly infected’ the internal network of a Russian nuclear plant after the sophisticated malware caused chaos in Iran’s nuclear facilities in Natanz.
The malware, widely considered to have been developed by the US Government as a means to disrupt Iran’s nuclear enrichment plans, had crossed a physically separated ‘air-gapped’ network in the Russian plant after it was carried across on a USB device.
Eugene Kaspersky, the charismatic boss of the Russian antivirus company bearing his name, said a staffer at the unnamed nuclear plant informed him of the infection. ”[The staffer said] their nuclear plant network which was disconnected from the internet … was badly infected by Stuxnet,” Kaspersky said.
“So unfortunately these people who were responsible for offensive technologies, they recognise cyber weapons as an opportunity.” But USB devices were used to ferry malware cross a far greater air-gap: Russian astronauts had carried a virus on removable media to the International Space Station infecting machines there, Kaspersky said.
In a presentation given at the Canberra Press Club designed to give mainstream journalists a broad overview of the state of information security, the chief executive offered his view of the state of online crime and state-sponsored espionage. ”All the data is stolen,” Kaspersky said. “At least twice.”
He said sophisticated malware like Gauss, Flame and Red October were rare and would require around $10 million to build.
Such malware had infected Saudi Aramco knocking it offline for two weeks, Kaspersky noted. Half of all malware was written in Chinese, according to Kaspersky. About a third was written in Spanish or Portuguese, followed by Russian-coded malware that was less prevalent but the most sophisticated in the world, he said.
He said Chinese malware appeared to ‘not care’ about operational security because researchers regularly found personal photos and social networking accounts on servers used in attack campaigns.
Russia Offers to Subsidize Nuclear Plant Asbarez.com, 6 Nov 13YEREVAN (Arka)—Russia is ready to finance 35 percent of the cost of construction of a new power unit for Armenia’s nuclear power plant, Vahram Petrosyan, the secretary of a presidential council on nuclear power safety, said today……On September 3, Russian president Putin said experts from Russian state nuclear company Rosatom and Armenian experts will work to extend the service life of the Armenian nuclear power plant in Metsamor for another 10 years until 2026.
Petrosyan said the extension of the service life of the facility requires at least $150 million……
he governments of the Republic of Armenia and the Russian Federation will soon sign an agreement on cooperation in the area of nuclear safety, the President said. The agreement will allow Armenia to:
– develop infrastructure for nuclear safety in preparation for the construction of new energy units based on Russian designs.
– train, re-train and upgrade specialists of nuclear safety, taking into consideration IAEA recommendations.
– expand the framework of cooperation in nuclear energy…….http://asbarez.com/115886/russia-offers-to-subsidize-nuclear-plant/
”Even though the cold war ended more than 20 years ago, thousands of warheads are still actively deployed by the nuclear-armed states,” “We continue to face unacceptably high risks and will continue to do so until we have taken steps to abolish these exceptionally dangerous weapons.”.
How a war game brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster Former classified documents show how close the Soviet Union came to launching an attack in 1983 The Guardian, Jamie Doward The Observer, Sunday 3 November 2013 Chilling new evidence that Britain and America came close to provoking the Soviet Union into launching a nuclear attack has emerged in former classified documents written at the height of the cold war.
Cabinet memos and briefing papers released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that a major war games exercise, Operation Able Art, conducted in November 1983 by the US and its Nato allies was so realistic it made the Russians believe that a nuclear strike on its territory was a real possibility. Read more »
Moscow Conducts Large-Scale Nuclear Attack Drill Four long-range missiles launched in war games The Washington Free Beacon, BY: Bill Gertz October 30, 2013 Russian strategic forces carried out a large-scale surprise military drill on Wednesday, launching four nuclear missiles that were closely monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies, U.S. officials said.
The drill began around 9:00 am ET and included the test launch of two land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and two submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
The test firings were unusual because of the number of missiles fired at one time, said officials who discussed some details of the drill on condition of anonymity.
State Department spokeswoman Alexandra F. Bell confirmed the tests and said the long-range missile firings were “conducted consistent with the requirements of the New START Treaty.”
At the Pentagon, spokeswoman Cynthia O. Smith said: ”With regard to Russia’s recent testing of its strategic forces missiles, the United States received the proper notifications prior to the launches.”…… http://freebeacon.com/moscow-conducts-large-scale-nuclear-attack-drill/
Nuclear ahoy! Russia installs reactors on floating power station Smart Planet, By Mark Halper | October 4, 2013 “…..Over the last week, it has lowered two small reactors onto a ship berthed in St. Petersburg, which will eventually serve as a floating nuclear power station, World Nuclear News reported.…..The floating plant is due off the coast of the Chukotka Peninsula in northeast Russia in 2016, in a part of the Arctic Ocean known as the East Siberian Sea. The Chutkotka Peninsula has a mining industry….http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/nuclear-ahoy-russia-installs-reactors-on-floating-power-station/31301
Russia offers first ever subsidies for renewable energy PV MAGAZINE, 01. OCTOBER 2013 BY: IAN CLOVER The world’s largest oil producer plans to develop its renewable energy sector – which currently produces just 0.8% of the country’s power – and has hosted its first clean power auction, with 39 ventures securing subsidies. Russia has offered its first ever state-backed support for renewable energy, offering subsidies for 39 clean power ventures with a combined capacity of 504 MW.
Solar power won the day, with 399 MW secured, while the wind power sector won just one-tenth of the 1,100 MW of wind capacity offered in the auction. By contrast, solar developers bid for nearly 1,000 MW, winning 32 projects to be built between 2014 and 2017.
“The tender has been quite successful for solar energy, showing that the Russian market can attract developers,” the head of the Russian Solar Industry Association, Anton Usachev, told Bloomberg. Because developers are required to use at least 50% of materials sourced from local contractors, the wind power sector may have been reluctant to invest, he believes.
Solar bidders, on the other hand, were evidently confident in their ability to satisfy local content requirements.
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin ratified the subsidy program, which is intended to wean the country off its reliance on fossil fuels……http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/russia-offers-first-ever-subsidies-for-renewable-energy_100012889/#axzz2galM1ZDF
Happy Petrov Day! (How we narrowly avoided nuclear war on this day in 1983) http://www.treehugger.com/endangered-species/happy-petrov-day-how-we-narrowly-avoided-nuclear-war-day-1983.html Michael Graham Richard 27 Sept 13 The best kind of holiday Most of us alive today owe a debt to those who avoided nuclear war in years past, and sadly, there were many occasions when that was necessary. The Cuban Missile Crisis is a well-known example, with John F. Kennedy, Robert McNamara, Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro, and various other government officials on all sides playing a game of poker with the lives of hundreds of millions of people (if not billions, who knows how far things would’ve gone). We came so very close to the edge of the abyss before stepping back…
That’s why anyone even a little bit concerned with the future of humanity – leaving a better world for their children – and about all other living creatures on the planet should be against nuclear weapons and in favor of taking concrete steps to reduce the chances of them ever being used. This can’t be swept under the rug. After all, what’s the point of building a better society and protecting the environment if, during a moment of folly, a few people in positions of power can kill us all?
Giving us a second chance Read more »
Russian nuclear submarine catches fire Sky News, September 16, 2013A Russian nuclear-powered submarine undergoing repairs at a shipyard has caught fire, but its reactor had long been shut off and poses no danger of radiation leaks, officials say.
The submarine Tomsk was being repaired at a shipyard near the city of Vladivostok when the fire broke out on Monday, the defence ministry said in a statement cited by Russian news agencies……
In late 2011 a massive fire broke out on another nuclear submarine in Murmansk while it was under repairs, injuring nine people. Reports later said that the vessel was armed with long-range missiles.http://www.skynews.com.au/world/article.aspx?id=906653
Russian ambitions to build nuclear reactors in Britain are ‘realistic’, say ministers By Emily Gosdenhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10289525/Russian-ambitions-to-build-nuclear-reactors-in-Britain-are-realistic-say-ministers.html 05 Sep 2013
Ministers have opened the door to Russia building nuclear reactors on British soil, signing an agreement describing it as a “realistic longer-term ambition”.
The memorandum of understanding, signed in Moscow by energy minister Michael Fallon, said that “mutually profitable commercial relationships between Russian and British companies in third markets could form the basis in the longer term of commercial cooperation in the UK”.
This would be achieved through an “incremental, step-by-step approach”. Mr Fallon said: “Inward investment into our energy sector will depend upon all reactor technologies meeting the stringent and independent regulatory standards required in the UK and EU.”
The agreement came as Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear corporation, commissioned Rolls-Royce to prepare the ground for its reactor to seek UK safety approval. Rolls-Royce, which already has a partnership with Rosatom, will “undertake engineering and safety assessment work” ahead of Rosatom’s reactor “potentially entering the first step of the UK’s formal regulatory approval process”.
Reactors have to pass a ‘generic design assessment’ from the Office for Nuclear Regulation before they can be built in the UK. EDF-Areva’s reactor design for proposed use at Hinkley Point in Somerset took five years to approve.
Rosatom said it viewed the UK as “an attractive opportunity” because most of the UK’s existing reactors are due to close in coming years.
Russia has made no secret of its desire to expand in the UK but has to convince politicians it can overcome security fears as well as safety concerns stemming from its role in the Chernobyl disaster. In June ministers agreed to create a joint working group on “cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy between Rosatom and DECC”.
The idea of pumping water for cooling was never going to be anything but a “machine for generating radioactive water,”
Russia Offers Fukushima Cleanup Help as Tepco Reaches Out By Yuriy Humber & Jacob Adelman - Aug 25, 2013 Russia repeated an offer first made two years ago to help Japan clean up its accident-ravaged Fukushima nuclear station, welcoming Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501)’s decision to seek outside help.
As Tokyo Electric pumps thousands of metric tons of water through the wrecked Fukushima station to cool its melted cores, the tainted run-off was found to be leaking into groundwater and the ocean. The approach to cooling and decommissioning the station will need to change and include technologies developed outside of Japan if the cleanup is to succeed, said Vladimir Asmolov, first deputy director general of Rosenergoatom, the state-owned Russian nuclear utility.
“In our globalized nuclear industry we don’t have national accidents, they are all international,” Asmolov said. Since Japan’s new government took over in December, talks on cooperating between the two countries on the Fukushima cleanup have turned “positive” and Russia is ready to offer its assistance, he said by phone from Moscow last week. Read more »
RUSSIA’S ROSATOM EYES NUCLEAR CONTRACTS IN BRITAIN YAHOO NEWS, BY SVETLANA BURMISTROVA , 13 Aug 13, MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian state nuclear company Rosatom is considering selling reactors in Britain and will soon decide whether to apply for a UK reactor licence, a senior company executive said.
Rosatom is now building more atomic power plants than any other vendor and has been marketing the legacy of the former USSR’s own nuclear disaster, at Chernobyl in 1986, as a lesson learned in nuclear safety.
A major player in developing markets such as China, Vietnam and India, Rosatom has long been interested in building reactors in the European Union, where it is already a supplier of nuclear fuel…… Russian nuclear technology has been unpopular in western Europe since the Chernobyl disaster, but Britain is in dire need of investors willing to replace its ageing nuclear fleet after a series of utility companies, including Germany’s RWE and E.ON and Britain’s Centrica , have dropped out…….
Before entering the UK market, Komarov said, Rosatom would wait to see whether EDF reaches a deal with the British government on a guaranteed minimum power price for its proposed Hinkley Point project, Britain’s first new nuclear plant in almost 20 years.
The guaranteed price, also known as a contract-for-difference (CfD), is part of a major electricity market reform, currently being assessed by Parliament, to encourage types of energy that emit little or no carbon.
Through the CfDs, the government guarantees to top up prices to reach an agreed ‘strike price’ for power generated by the nuclear plants, should market prices fall after they are commissioned.
“This is a very comfortable scheme that guarantees return on investments,” Komarov said. EDF expects to announce by year-end whether it has reached a deal with the British government and plans to hold talks on partnering with a Chinese state-run firm.
“We are waiting to see what agreements EDF reaches,” Komarov said. “If we see that we can get a return on our investments, we will enter the project with great desire……. http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/18488685/russias-rosatom-eyes-nuclear-contracts-in-britain/
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