Trident ‘increases threat of nuclear attacks on Scotland
Scotsman.com News: 04 February 2009
A LEADING authority on international law has warned that nuclear weapons in Scotland increase the risk of a nuclear attack on the country.Judge Christopher Weeramantry, former vice-president of the International Court of Justice, told a conference in Edinburgh that the issue could not be left in the hands of Westminster.
While agreeing that international relations were reserved to the UK Parliament, he insisted the Scottish Parliament must uphold international humanitarian and legal obligations.
SNP defence and foreign affairs spokesman Angus Robertson said: “Judge Weeramantry’s comments add further weight to the argument for removing Trident from Scotland.”
Israel urged to attack Iran within the year PRESSTV 4 Feb 09 Tel Aviv should attack Tehran in the coming year in order to get the mission accomplished, says an Israeli expert in weapons.
Isaac Ben-Israel, Israeli legislator and weapons expert, said Wednesday that Israel has only a year to pull off a successful strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
He, nevertheless, asserted that any attack would only delay, rather than sabotage, Iran’s breakthrough in nuclear technology.
The former defense official said an attack on Iran should take place before it is too late. “Last resort means when you reach the stage when everything else failed. When is this?” ………………………Tehran, meanwhile, insists their satellite was designed and produced for peaceful purposes and will enable the country to track natural disasters and improve its telecommunications infrastructure.
Medical isotopes the likely cause of radiation in Ottawa waste, CBC Canada February 4, 2009
The sludge that was recently quarantined near the Canadian border tested positive for radiation because of the presence of a medical isotope, according to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
The biosolids, which were being transported from the Robert O. Pickard Environmental Centre in Ottawa for disposal in New York State, were turned away at the border last Thursday because the truckloads had registered low levels of radiation.
Since then, the sludge has been stored at Third High Farms, a waste storage facility Iroquois, Ont., and consultants have been called in to investigate.
The culprit appears to be the isotope iodine 131.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has said the isotope, which is used for medial procedures, is most likely the source of the radiation detected in the sludge.
The commission also said that the presence of medical isotopes in sludge is not unusual.
CT Heart Imaging Increases Radiation Dose to Patients
By Elizabeth Lopatto
Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) — Heart scans on average expose patients to radiation equivalent to getting 600 chest X-rays at once, according to the first study to measure emissions from the procedures.
Doctors aren’t always aware of the doses and many don’t use the best methods for reducing the radiation, said Thomas Gerber, the Mayo Clinic researcher who did the study. The average exposure from computerized tomography, or CT, scans of the heart was 885 milligrays per centimeter, according to the study, published in tomorrow’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors of the study recommended that doctors limit the use of CT heart scans……………………………Exposure to radiation increases the chance of getting cancer, and the risk varies from patient to patient, said Andrew Einstein, the author of an editorial in the journal, in a telephone interview. In a 60-year-old woman with one exposure to CT scanning, the risk of cancer might be 1 in 700, while in younger patients, particularly females, it could be higher, Einstein said. Two tests would double the risk, he said.
Six Powers Hold Iran Talks as U.S. Mulls Policy
By Tony Czuczka
Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) — Diplomats from six nations discussed how to keep Iran from building nuclear weapons in the first meeting on the issue since President Barack Obama took office and offered Iran talks “without preconditions.”
U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs William Burns and foreign ministry officials from China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany met today in Wiesbaden, Germany, near Frankfurt, to review their strategy toward Iran, a German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said
Iran said yesterday it launched its first domestically made satellite, prompting U.S., French and British statements of concern about Iran’s efforts to develop ballistic missile technology. Leaders of Germany and France said they may back new sanctions if diplomacy fails to halt “the Iranian threat.”
“We will not permit an Iranian nuclear bomb because this would threaten world peace,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a joint article published today in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. “We favor a diplomatic solution.”
Obama has shifted U.S. policy since taking office on Jan. 20, saying he supports “tough and direct diplomacy with Iran without preconditions” and will “use the power of American diplomacy to pressure Iran to stop their illicit nuclear program, support for terrorism and threats toward Israel.”………………..
Iran, the second-largest oil producer in the Middle East, is under three sets of UN sanctions after the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, sent the dispute to the Security Council in March 2006.
The Bush administration ruled out talks with Iran unless the country ended uranium enrichment work within its nuclear program.
Is the BNPP safe?By Roland G. SimbulanPhilippine Daily Inquirer 2 Feb 09
Just when we all thought that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) had been permanently laid to rest after it was mothballed in 1992, now comes the proposed BNPP Commissioning Act seeking to revive and operate the controversial plant that had become the symbol of corruption and folly of the Marcos dictatorship.
Despite the BNPP’s total cost of roughly $2.3 billion, including interest, two previous post-Marcos administrations decided to permanently mothball the nuclear plant after a comprehensive scientific and technical audit that reviewed the condition of the plant from 1986 to 1990 found that the safety and health of the Filipino people would be at grave risk should the plant be put into operation……………
………………Of course, the nuclear scientists and engineers who rely on the nuclear industry for a living will tell us that science and technology will take care of everything. But they know that even up to now decommissioning a nuclear plant with a normal life span of only 30 years will cost more than its construction, as a decommissioned nuclear plant with its radioactive wastes will continue to pose risks to the health and safety of the people and threaten the environment. We will need at least 20-25 years to develop the necessary scientific and technological infrastructure and national capability to operate a commercial nuclear power plant to respond to nuclear accidents, plant upgrades, repairs and maintenance, nuclear waste disposal and other related problems.
N-commerce gets going, pact signed with French firm Bhagyashree Pande Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 4
Taking the first major step towards undertaking nuclear commerce after the NSG waiver, India today signed a preliminary sales agreement with French atomic reactor giant Areva for setting up two nuclear reactors in India.
Areva, the world’s biggest maker of atomic reactors, inked the MoU with state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) for building the country’s first large-capacity plants using overseas equipment.
This will end India’s nuclear trade isolation marking a new chapter in strategic relationship with France……………………Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon said her company was committed to supply fuel for the lifetime of the reactors, which, she pegged at about 60 years. She said Areva would meet the fuel requirements through its uranium mines located in various countries, including Australia, Kazakhstan and Niger. Though the MoU provides for supply of two nuclear reactors, the order may be stepped up to six at a later date. The cost of one EPR has been estimated at between $5.2 and 7.8 billion, although final costs are subject to negotiations…………………….Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Power, said signing of the MoU signals end of India’s nuclear isolation and its emergence as a responsible nuclear state. He hoped that this relationship would go further in form of forging technological alliance to export nuclear reactors from India to various countries.
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