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U.S. House Appropriations panel cuts funding for new nuclear weapons facility

The House Appropriations subcommittee that approves funding of the weapons complex, run by the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA), just whacked almost $500 million from the weapons program.

House panel whacks funding for nuclear complex, Washington Post, 18 June 11 By   Remember the ones demanded by Republican senators as the price for passage of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) last December? Back then, senators succeeded in getting the Obama administration to pledge to spend billions more to upgrade the U.S. nuclear weapons complex and modernize the country’s stockpile of deployed weapons.

Problem is, members of the House weren’t involved in the discussions.

Now, led by Republicans, lawmakers are cutting into the funds that the Obama administration had pledged for upgrades and modernization.

The House Appropriations subcommittee that approves funding of the weapons complex, run by the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA), just whacked almost $500 million from the weapons program. A slice of $100 million came out of a $200 million pot that is supposed to finance early steps in the coming year to build a new facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory…..


June 18, 2011 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US General’s advice on how to reduce spending on nuclear weapons

Brent Scowcroft’s Suggestion on the Nuclear Arsenal, HUFFINGTON POST, Rizwan Ladha, 17 June 11 For over sixty years, the United States has maintained a large and costly nuclear arsenal, composed of heavy bombers, submarine-launched missiles, and intercontinental missiles. But Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft thinks it’s time for a change.

In a talk Thursday at National Defense University, Gen. Scowcroft suggested that the U.S. nuclear force should be restructured, eliminating the air- and sea-based legs of the triad and only maintaining 1,000 to 1,500 single-warhead ICBMs. He argues this would provide a credible deterrent to adversaries, while guaranteeing security to U.S. allies……..

June 18, 2011 Posted by | weapons and war | Leave a comment

Exposure of 4 workers to high radiation

4 Workers Exposed to Strong Gamma Radiation in Southern Bulgaria,  June 17, 2011,Four workers of the Gitava company, based near the Southern Bulgarian town of Stambolyiski, have been exposed to strong gamma radiation.

The accident happened on June 14 and a committee was subsequently assigned to investigate the matter, the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulation Agency announced.Gitava specializes in supplying and recharging gamma-ray therapeutic equipment for the treatment of cancer patients…..

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Bulgaria, safety | Leave a comment

USA Senate hearing finds nuclear safety unsatisfactory

Fukushima-Daiichi showed us that we have to consider the possibility of multiple units at a single site, perhaps multiple spent fuel pools being affected at the same time.”

Commissioners also had no answers about how to fix backup power systems that continue to cool nuclear material in the event of a major power outage…….Amidst these less-than-inspiring answers, the NRC commissioners tried to downplay the possibility of similar events happening here anyhow…..

Cold Comfort at Senate Nuclear Safety Hearing,  The Nation   17 june 11 George Zornick In the two months since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant suffered a catastrophic breakdown during an earthquake and tsunami in Japan, what has the United States learned about nuclear safety? How are regulators working to prevent a similar disaster at one of America’s 104 nuclear power plants, about a quarter of which share the same design as Fukushima Daiichi? Continue reading

June 18, 2011 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Indonesia turning away from nuclear power plans

 Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said, “What happened in Japan last March can happen in Indonesia because (the two countries’) geography is very much similar.”

He suggested that in pursuing its best energy mix, the world’s most populous Muslim country is willing to consider alternative sources of energy, such as geothermal, solar and hydroelectric power, while moving to limit the use of oil and coal as energy sources in the long run….

Indonesia cautious about nuclear option after Fukushima crisis Mainichi Daily News 18 June 11 TOKYO (Kyodo)– Visiting Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expressed strong reservations on Friday about proceeding with plans to build nuclear power plants in his earthquake- and tsunami-prone country, following Japan’s nuclear disaster triggered by a magnitude 9.0 quake and tsunami. Continue reading

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Indonesia, politics | 1 Comment

AREVA struggles to cope with freeze on nuclear investment

Investors demand clear Areva strategy from new CEO– By Marie Maitre The replacement of Areva’s charismatic head by a top executive little known outside the company ends a drawn-out battle for the group’s top job but offers no clues on how Areva plans to overcome project delays after the Fukushima disaster. PARIS, June 17 (Reuters) – Investors called for clarity on Areva’s strategy for dealing with a global nuclear investment freeze on Friday after a power struggle at the French nuclear power plant maker led to the dismissal of its long-serving boss.

Areva’s thinly traded shares were down 2.2 percent at 25.81 euros by 0950 GMT, lagging France’s CAC-40 .FCHI blue chip index, which was up 0.1 percent….

June 18, 2011 Posted by | France | Leave a comment