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Plan for Turkish Planned $20 Billion Russian-Built Nuclear Plant collapsing?

Turkey’s Planned $20 Billion Russian-Built Nuclear Plant Facing Delay https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-03-09/turkeys-planned-20-billion-russian-built-nuclear-plant-facing-delay

FINANCING

The 4,800 megawatt Akkuyu plant is a intended to reduce Turkey’s dependence on energy imports but has been beset by delays since Russia was awarded the contract in 2010.

But Turkish companies have been put off by the size of the financing required as well as by concerns they will not receive a sufficient share of the lucrative construction side of the deal, two industry sources said.

The firms are also worried that the guaranteed electricity price could eventually be lowered, reducing future revenue, they said.

Rosatom did not respond to a request for comment. Officials for EUAS and the government declined to comment.

Rosatom last year said it would sell 49 percent of Akkuyu Nukleer AS, the company which will build and operate the plant, to a consortium made up of Kolin Insaat, Kalyon Insaat and Cengiz Holding – Turkish firms that have been awarded major infrastructure projects under Erdogan.

However, the final agreement was never signed and Rosatom said Kolin and Kalyon had decided to pull out of the project.

March 9, 2018, BY ORHAN COSKUN AND CAN Sezer  ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Reuters) Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is likely to miss its 2023 target start-up date as Russian builder Rosatom struggles to find local partners, two people familiar with the matter said.

The $20 billion project is part of President Tayyip Erdogan’s “2023 vision” marking 100 years since the founding of modern Turkey.

Rosatom is looking at four Turkish companies as possible partners, but little progress has been made so far, said one of the sources, both of whom declined to be identified because the information is not yet public.

Rosatom said last month it was in talks with state-owned power producer EUAS after a deal with a consortium of three firms collapsed

“Concrete progress has not been made in the talks so far, and this includes EUAS from the government side,” one source said, adding that Rosatom was keen to have a government entity such as EUAS as a shareholder.

Rosatom is looking for Turkish partners to take a 49 percent stake in the planned Akkuyu nuclear plant in southern Turkey.

But the government is wary of EUAS taking on the 49 percent stake by itself.

“A 49 percent stake still means $10 billion of funding even if it’s spread over years,” the source said. “It is a very big project, there are many details and issues that need to be worked on. We can’t expect this to be resolved soon.”

The project is to be financed by Rosatom and its partners and will involve loans from export-import agencies and banks, Anastasia Polovinkina, director of Rosatom affiliate Rusatom Energy International told a conference in June 2017.

FINANCING

The 4,800 megawatt Akkuyu plant is a intended to reduce Turkey’s dependence on energy imports but has been beset by delays since Russia was awarded the contract in 2010.

But Turkish companies have been put off by the size of the financing required as well as by concerns they will not receive a sufficient share of the lucrative construction side of the deal, two industry sources said.

The firms are also worried that the guaranteed electricity price could eventually be lowered, reducing future revenue, they said.

Rosatom did not respond to a request for comment. Officials for EUAS and the government declined to comment.

Rosatom last year said it would sell 49 percent of Akkuyu Nukleer AS, the company which will build and operate the plant, to a consortium made up of Kolin Insaat, Kalyon Insaat and Cengiz Holding – Turkish firms that have been awarded major infrastructure projects under Erdogan.

However, the final agreement was never signed and Rosatom said Kolin and Kalyon had decided to pull out of the project.

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March 9, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Turkey | Leave a comment

Radiation monitors failed at Hanford nuclear station – spread of contamination was not detected

Report says radioactive monitors failed at nuclear plant, abc news, By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS RICHLAND, Wash. — Mar 9, 2018,   A new report says mistakes and mismanagement are to blame for the exposure of workers to radioactive particles at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Plan for nuclear power in Bhavnagar district dumped, as locals remember Fukushima

N-power project junked due to Fukushima disaster Gujarat CM. Energy World

The project was proposed to be set up at Mithivirdi village in Bhavnagar district, said Energy Minister Saurabh Patel.   March 09, 2018, GandhinagarGujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today told the Assembly the proposal to set up a nuclear power plant in Bhavnagar district has been scrapped owing to a movement by panic-stricken locals following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.

The project was proposed to be set up at Mithivirdi village in Bhavnagar district, said Energy Minister Saurabh Patel.

He was speaking during a debate on the issue during Question Hour of the Assembly which is having its budget session.

Taking part in the debate, Rupani said though the state government had signed an MoU with Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) in 2007, the project was eventually scrapped by the PSU after villagers raised apprehensions about their safety in the wake of radioactive “leak” from the Fukushima nuclear plant following a tsunami.

Rupani was replying to a question by Imran Khedawala (Congress) about the status of the proposed 6,000 MW nuclear power plant, for which the state had signed agreements with NPCIL in 2007 during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

“This project has been scrapped permanently by NPCIL. During the UPA rule, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had signed a nuclear deal with the USA. After that, a total of six nuclear plants were planned across the country and this plant in Bhavnagar was one of them,” he said.

“However, locals turned against this project after tsunami waves caused (radioactive) leak in Japan (in 2011)……. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/n-power-project-junked-due-to-fukushima-disaster-gujarat-cm/63227178

March 9, 2018 Posted by | India, politics | Leave a comment

Russia keen to sell nuclear power to Ethiopia

Russia to help with Ethiopia’s nuclear energy ambitions, African News 
Source: Xinhua   2018-03-10 00:32:45
 ADDIS ABABA, March 9 (Xinhua) — Ethiopia and Russia agreed on Friday to boost cooperation in nuclear energy during a visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Speaking to local and international media, Lavrov said Russia will assist Ethiopia’s nuclear energy ambitions as part of efforts to strengthen political, economic and cultural ties between the two nations…..http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-03/10/c_137028152.htm

March 9, 2018 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Small drone to measure radiation, used at Sellafield and Windscale, -might be used at Fukushima

In Cumbria 9th March 2018, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority funds have helped two UK businesses
develop a small drone to measure radiation levels in the damaged reactor
building of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. The lightweight
drone uses lasers to self-navigate deep inside hazardous facilities where
GPS signals cannot reach, and has already been used successfully at
Sellafield.

The drone, called Remote Intelligence Survey Equipment for
Radiation or Riser, carries a sophisticated radiation detection and mapping
system which has been collecting vital information about conditions in the
remaining Windscale Pile chimney. More than 60 years after the 1957 fire,
the chimney remains highly contaminated.
http://www.in-cumbria.com/news/Cumbrian-technology-used-at-Japans-Fukushima-nuclear-power-plant-c5720302-2ca4-4270-854d-99e934c64148-ds

March 9, 2018 Posted by | radiation, UK | Leave a comment

Crucial US-North Korea talks – could defuse nuclear tensions?

Nuclear crisis at ‘crucial moment’ for US-North Korea talks, Chinese minister says  SCMP, Teddy Ngteddy.kyng@scmp.com, 8 Mar 18

Wang Yi says the moment has arrived to test whether all sides are sincere in wanting to resolve tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme

 China called for direct dialogue between North Korea and the United States to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula and warned there was still the potential for chaos amid the stand-off over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.

The warning by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday came despite the announcement that North and South Korea’s leaders are to meet at a summit, raising hopes that the nuclear crisis might be defused. …….

The South China Morning Post reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may propose sending his sister, Kim Yo-jong, to the US as part of efforts to launch direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

This may be one of a number of possible messages South Korean envoy Chung Eui-yong will deliver to US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in Washington this week, a South Korean diplomatic source told the Post, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Chung is travelling to Washington with South Korea’s national intelligence service chief Suh Hoon, who, according to multiple South Korean diplomatic sources, will meet his US counterpart Mike Pompeo.

……. The fact that North Korea did not conduct nuclear and missile tests during the Winter Olympics, while South Korea and the United States have suspended their military drills, proved that China’s approach to handle the nuclear crisis was effective, Wang said.

Beijing has called for South Korea and the US to stop military exercises in exchange for North Korea not conducting nuclear tests……..http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2136263/china-calls-us-north-korea-talks-defuse-nuclear-crisis

 

March 9, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

North Korea might send Kim Jong-un’s sister to USA for diplomatic talks on the nuclear crisis

Kim Jong-un’s sister could be sent to US to launch talks on ending nuclear crisis, South Korean envoy Chung Eui-yong is to deliver an ‘unconventional’ and ‘very unusual’ message to US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster this week, the Post has learned SCMP,  Robert Delaney, US correspondent, 08 March, 2018  North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may propose sending his sister, Kim Yo-jong, to the US as part of efforts to launch direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang, according to a South Korean diplomatic source.

That may be one of a number of possible messages South Korean envoy Chung Eui-yong will deliver to US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in Washington this week, the source told the South China Morning Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
……… Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader’s younger sister, spearheaded a charm offensive from Pyongyang when she attended the start of the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea last month, and invited South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang.

Kim Yo-jong was the first member of the North’s ruling dynasty to visit South Korea.

The younger Kim’s presence in Pyeongchang laid the groundwork for visits by two South Korean government delegations to Pyongyang after the Games ended.

What has followed represents a reversal from the militaristic threats Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump lobbed at each other – Kim via North Korea’s state media and Trump via Twitter – throughout the second half of last year………

The message Chung and Suh are bringing from Pyongyang is likely to include a freeze or moratorium on the country’s nuclear weapons development programme in exchange for a downgraded or scaled-back version of joint US-South Korea military exercises, Korea Society senior director Stephen Noerper said in an interview.

“It’s a different tack for North Korea to go through South Korea,” Noerper said. “There could be an attempt to try to drive a wedge between the US and South Korea by saying ‘look, here’s all we’re offering and the Americans just aren’t listening’.

……… Other items in the six-point plan agreed upon during Chung’s most recent visit to Pyongyang include an assertion by the North Korean government that “it will not resume strategy of provocations such as additional nuclear and missile tests while conversation is ongoing”. http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/2136217/kim-jong-uns-sister-could-be-sent-us-launch-talks-ending-nuclear-crisis

March 9, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

Trump aims for global ‘energy dominance’ through pushing ahead the nuclear industry

White House: Nuclear power dominates ‘energy dominance’, Washington Examiner, by John Siciliano | 

The White House says President Trump’s biggest achievements in his energy dominance agenda are all about nuclear energy.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy underscored the president’s achievements Wednesday in a report that highlights a number of scientific advancements made under Trump’s watch.

The biggest energy achievements were on nuclear power, not coal, oil, or natural gas, which are typically promoted as key parts of the administration’s energy dominance agenda.

The report linked Trump’s recently released nuclear policy review, which has much to do with nuclear weapons, with moving the country closer to energy dominance. Trump issued a directive in June ordering his administration to look for ways to expand nuclear power domestically.

“The White House is leading the nuclear policy review, which includes a focus on restoring U.S. nuclear [research and development] capabilities and enabling innovation in the development and deployment of new reactors,” the new report read.

It also pointed out that on Nov. 13, Energy Secretary Rick Perry authorized national lab contractors to strike agreements with the private sector on nuclear technology licensing to help commercialize new reactors.

“The authorization adds a new and powerful technology transfer tool to help unleash American energy innovation by removing barriers for businesses and other entities interested in working with DOE’s National Laboratories,” the report said.

It also pointed out that Trump reopened a program that had been dormant for 23 years, which will boost nuclear power research and development.

“For the first time in 23 years, the U.S. Department of Energy has resumed operations at the Transient Reactor Test Facility,” the White House said. “TREAT is a crucial part of the nation’s nuclear [research and development] infrastructure, and provides the capability to test nuclear reactor fuels and materials under extreme conditions. Such testing can help to improve safety and performance of the current and future nuclear reactor fleet.”

The TREAT reactor at the Idaho National Lab operated for 35 years until it was closed under former President Bill Clinton. The TREAT website said the Energy Department had been considering reopening the test reactor, which is used to experiment with new nuclear power plant fuels. …http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/white-house-nuclear-power-dominates-energy-dominance/article/2650941

March 9, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Henry Sokolski Blows Up 5 Myths about Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Program

5 Myths about Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Program,  Enabling Riyadh would only make the region’s nuclear landscape riskier. Henry Sokolski  

Much has been written about Saudi Arabia’s plans for nuclear power since the Trump administration announced last fall that it would conclude a civilian nuclear cooperative agreement with Riyadh. Almost all of this commentary suggests Washington must accommodate the kingdom’s desire to enrich uranium and reprocess plutonium, two activities that bring states to the brink of making bombs. In particular, commentators repeatedly raise five points—none of which are sound.

Myth #1: Saudi Arabia needs nuclear power to meet its growing electrical demand.

If Saudi Arabia is to have a prosperous economic future, we are told, it must meet its growing power requirements by burning less oil. For this, nuclear proponents insist, the Saudis need sixteen large reactors. Although often repeated, this is not true. In 2012, the Saudis announced their intention to build sixteen reactors by 2032. By 2017, Saudi planners had pushed this back to 2040. Shortly thereafter, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman backed an national development plan for 2030 that didn’t mention nuclear power, but instead focused on investing in renewables.

Most recently, the Saudis announced that instead of sixteen large power reactors, they are only building two. Some have argued that this slippage reflects the kingdom’s desire to finance reactor construction with its oil revenues. With the price of oil dropping from $100 a barrel several years ago to roughly $60 a barrel today, the schedule for nuclear construction had to slide. If true, this suggests the Saudi nuclear “imperative” is less than urgent.

A more compelling explanation is that Saudis don’t need nuclear power. In fact, recent studies found that the Saudis could more cheaply meet their energy and environmental requirements by developing its natural-gas resources and investing in renewables—photovoltaic, concentrated solar power and wind. They also found economic value in upgrading the kingdom’s electrical grid and reducing subsidies that artificially drive up electrical demand. This should not be surprising. The United Arab Emirates, Riyadh’s next-door neighbor, which began construction of four power reactors several years ago, just announced that the UAE would not be building any more nuclear plants. Why? Cheaper alternatives: in addition to plentiful natural gas and wind resources, the Emirates are now investing in photovoltaic systems and solar thermal storage systems, which together can operate twenty-four hours a day more cheaply than nuclear. These findings also apply to Saudi Arabia.

Myth #2: Without a formal nuclear cooperative agreement with Riyadh, America will forgo billions of dollars of nuclear hardware and know-how exports to the kingdom.

This point presumes that the kingdom will stick with its 2012 energy plan, which it has already backed away from. It also mistakenly assumes that America still manufactures export reactors. The only American-headquartered firm that is actively interested in exporting to the kingdom is Westinghouse. It is entirely foreign owned and is a reactor designer, not a manufacturer. It’s currently in bankruptcy proceedings, and is eager to be bought by a Canadian holding firm. Naturally, Westinghouse would like its prospective buyers to believe that it has a clear shot at the Saudi market.

Unfortunately it’s, at best, a long shot. Westinghouse’s design, the AP1000, has yet to operate anywhere. The reactor’s construction is embarrassingly behind schedule and over budget both in China and the United States. Mismanagement by Westinghouse caused two reactors in South Carolina to be terminated after an expenditure of $9 billion, which, in turn, nearly bankrupted Westinghouse’s Japanese owner, Toshiba. Finally, American nuclear know-how and other nonnuclear electrical generating parts can and have been exported in support of non-American reactors abroad without a formal nuclear cooperative agreement. These goods would likely make up a majority of American nuclear exports to the kingdom but, again, their export does not require negotiating a nuclear cooperative agreement.

Myth #3: If Westinghouse does not win the bid, the Russians or Chinese will, reducing American nuclear influence in the region.  

This argument is perhaps the most egregious. Consider: an unspoken motive for the kingdom to pursue a nuclear program is to develop an option to make nuclear weapons, if needed, to deter Iran. This would all but preclude buying Russian. Rosatom, after all, is building Iran’s reactors. If Saudi Arabia buys Russian, it is all but asking Moscow to let Iran know exactly what the kingdom is doing in the nuclear realm. Consider also Russia’s recent ill-fated nuclear dealings with South Africa (a contributing factor in forcing President Zumafrom office) and Turkey (where Rosatom’s financial inflexibility prompted Turkey’s private financiers, who were underwriting half of the undertaking, to pull out of the project).

As for buying Chinese, doing so is also risky. The Chinese recently encountered “safety concerns” that delayed operation in Taishan of both its Westinghouse AP1000, and a French-based design. As for China’s top export nuclear design, the Hualong One (HPR 1000) reactor, the British won’t be done certifying it until 2022. China’s other possible export system, the CAP 1400, based on the yet-unproven AP1000, has yet to operate anywhere.

What’s left? The kingdom’s original bid requirements were for two reactors that would produce 2,800 megawatts. The only country that has a reactor that is operating, that is properly licensed, and that has been built roughly on time and on budget that could meet this requirement is Korea’s APR-1400. The Saudis only changed their original bid requirements after the United States, China, Russia and France all complained. Given Korea’s relative success in building four APR-1400 reactors on time and on budget in the United Arab Emirates, and its success in operating a licensed APR-1400 in South Korea, the Korean reactor is still the odds-on favorite to win the Saudi bid.

 Myth # 4: It makes economic sense for the kingdom to enrich uranium to fuel its own reactors.

No, it doesn’t. Saudi nuclear backers argue that the kingdom should enrich, given the uranium reserves the Saudis have discovered. Uranium, however, is plentiful globally and priced at historic lows (less than $22 a pound), as are uranium-enrichment services. More important, the kingdom would have to spend billions on a variety of plants to enrich uranium and produce its own nuclear fuel. Starting such an undertaking might make economic sense if the kingdom had roughly a dozen large reactors up and running. It currently has none, and has only opened a process to buying two.

Myth #5: United States has more to gain by accommodating Saudi Arabia’s demand that it be allowed to enrich uranium than resisting it.

Trumpeting these myths, proponents of a permissive U.S.-Saudi nuclear deal argue that Washington lacks the leverage to secure a Saudi pledge not to make enrich or reprocess. The best Washington can do, it is argued, is to ask Riyadh to defer such dangerous nuclear activities for several years. Some even suggestthat acceding to Riyadh’s wishes is in Washington’s interest, since allowing the Saudis the capacity to make nuclear weapons–usable fuels might help “deter” Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

None of this seems sound. As already noted, the Korean APR-1400 is most likely to win the Saudi contract. Given this reactor’s American technical content, senior Korean officials are convinced they cannot export it to the kingdom unless the Saudis first reach a nuclear cooperative agreement with the United States. For this reason (and others besides), Seoul is inclined to take American guidance. Meanwhile, President Trump is trying to get the European parties to the Iran nuclear deal to devise a tighter follow-on understanding. A riskier approach would be for the United States to break from its policy (solidified in the 2009 U.S.-UAE nuclear cooperative agreement) to get non-weapons states in the Middle East to forswear enriching and reprocessing.

Besides the odd optics of looking like a version of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (which President Trump says is “the worst deal ever”), allowing Riyadh to enrich and reprocess would immediately excite the humors of the UAE and Egypt. Both have U.S. nuclear cooperative agreements that allow them to request their agreements be modified if the United States offers any of their neighbors a more generous nuclear deal. Then there’s Morocco and Turkey: their nuclear agreements with Washington are up for renewal in 2021 and 2023. They too are likely to ask for equal treatment as soon as possible. How this serves anyone’s long-term interest is, at best, unclear.

Henry Sokolski is executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center and the author of Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future. He served as deputy for nonproliferation policy in the office of the U.S. secretary of defense from 1989 to 1993.

If Saudi Arabia is to have a prosperous economic future, we are told, it must meet its growing power requirements by burning less oil. For this, nuclear proponents insist, the Saudis need sixteen large reactors. Although often repeated, this is not true. In 2012, the Saudis announced their intention to build sixteen reactors by 2032. By 2017, Saudi planners had pushed this back to 2040. Shortly thereafter, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman backed an national development plan for 2030 that didn’t mention nuclear power, but instead focused on investing in renewables.

Most recently, the Saudis announced that instead of sixteen large power reactors, they are only building two. Some have argued that this slippage reflects the kingdom’s desire to finance reactor construction with its oil revenues. With the price of oil dropping from $100 a barrel several years ago to roughly $60 a barrel today, the schedule for nuclear construction had to slide. If true, this suggests the Saudi nuclear “imperative” is less than urgent.

A more compelling explanation is that Saudis don’t need nuclear power. In fact, recent studies found that the Saudis could more cheaply meet their energy and environmental requirements by developing its natural-gas resources and investing in renewables—photovoltaic, concentrated solar power and wind. They also found economic value in upgrading the kingdom’s electrical grid and reducing subsidies that artificially drive up electrical demand. This should not be surprising. The United Arab Emirates, Riyadh’s next-door neighbor, which began construction of four power reactors several years ago, just announced that the UAE would not be building any more nuclear plants. Why? Cheaper alternatives: in addition to plentiful natural gas and wind resources, the Emirates are now investing in photovoltaic systems and solar thermal storage systems, which together can operate twenty-four hours a day more cheaply than nuclear. These findings also apply to Saudi Arabia.

Myth #2: Without a formal nuclear cooperative agreement with Riyadh, America will forgo billions of dollars of nuclear hardware and know-how exports to the kingdom.

This point presumes that the kingdom will stick with its 2012 energy plan, which it has already backed away from. It also mistakenly assumes that America still manufactures export reactors. The only American-headquartered firm that is actively interested in exporting to the kingdom is Westinghouse. It is entirely foreign owned and is a reactor designer, not a manufacturer. It’s currently in bankruptcy proceedings, and is eager to be bought by a Canadian holding firm. Naturally, Westinghouse would like its prospective buyers to believe that it has a clear shot at the Saudi market.

Unfortunately it’s, at best, a long shot. Westinghouse’s design, the AP1000, has yet to operate anywhere. The reactor’s construction is embarrassingly behind schedule and over budget both in China and the United States. Mismanagement by Westinghouse caused two reactors in South Carolina to be terminated after an expenditure of $9 billion, which, in turn, nearly bankrupted Westinghouse’s Japanese owner, Toshiba. Finally, American nuclear know-how and other nonnuclear electrical generating parts can and have been exported in support of non-American reactors abroad without a formal nuclear cooperative agreement. These goods would likely make up a majority of American nuclear exports to the kingdom but, again, their export does not require negotiating a nuclear cooperative agreement.

Myth #3: If Westinghouse does not win the bid, the Russians or Chinese will, reducing American nuclear influence in the region.  

This argument is perhaps the most egregious. Consider: an unspoken motive for the kingdom to pursue a nuclear program is to develop an option to make nuclear weapons, if needed, to deter Iran. This would all but preclude buying Russian. Rosatom, after all, is building Iran’s reactors. If Saudi Arabia buys Russian, it is all but asking Moscow to let Iran know exactly what the kingdom is doing in the nuclear realm. Consider also Russia’s recent ill-fated nuclear dealings with South Africa (a contributing factor in forcing President Zumafrom office) and Turkey (where Rosatom’s financial inflexibility prompted Turkey’s private financiers, who were underwriting half of the undertaking, to pull out of the project).

As for buying Chinese, doing so is also risky. The Chinese recently encountered “safety concerns” that delayed operation in Taishan of both its Westinghouse AP1000, and a French-based design. As for China’s top export nuclear design, the Hualong One (HPR 1000) reactor, the British won’t be done certifying it until 2022. China’s other possible export system, the CAP 1400, based on the yet-unproven AP1000, has yet to operate anywhere.

What’s left? The kingdom’s original bid requirements were for two reactors that would produce 2,800 megawatts. The only country that has a reactor that is operating, that is properly licensed, and that has been built roughly on time and on budget that could meet this requirement is Korea’s APR-1400. The Saudis only changed their original bid requirements after the United States, China, Russia and France all complained. Given Korea’s relative success in building four APR-1400 reactors on time and on budget in the United Arab Emirates, and its success in operating a licensed APR-1400 in South Korea, the Korean reactor is still the odds-on favorite to win the Saudi bid.

Myth # 4: It makes economic sense for the kingdom to enrich uranium to fuel its own reactors.

No, it doesn’t. Saudi nuclear backers argue that the kingdom should enrich, given the uranium reserves the Saudis have discovered. Uranium, however, is plentiful globally and priced at historic lows (less than $22 a pound), as are uranium-enrichment services. More important, the kingdom would have to spend billions on a variety of plants to enrich uranium and produce its own nuclear fuel. Starting such an undertaking might make economic sense if the kingdom had roughly a dozen large reactors up and running. It currently has none, and has only opened a process to buying two.

Myth #5: United States has more to gain by accommodating Saudi Arabia’s demand that it be allowed to enrich uranium than resisting it.

Trumpeting these myths, proponents of a permissive U.S.-Saudi nuclear deal argue that Washington lacks the leverage to secure a Saudi pledge not to make enrich or reprocess. The best Washington can do, it is argued, is to ask Riyadh to defer such dangerous nuclear activities for several years. Some even suggestthat acceding to Riyadh’s wishes is in Washington’s interest, since allowing the Saudis the capacity to make nuclear weapons–usable fuels might help “deter” Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

None of this seems sound. As already noted, the Korean APR-1400 is most likely to win the Saudi contract. Given this reactor’s American technical content, senior Korean officials are convinced they cannot export it to the kingdom unless the Saudis first reach a nuclear cooperative agreement with the United States. For this reason (and others besides), Seoul is inclined to take American guidance. Meanwhile, President Trump is trying to get the European parties to the Iran nuclear deal to devise a tighter follow-on understanding. A riskier approach would be for the United States to break from its policy (solidified in the 2009 U.S.-UAE nuclear cooperative agreement) to get non-weapons states in the Middle East to forswear enriching and reprocessing.

Besides the odd optics of looking like a version of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (which President Trump says is “the worst deal ever”), allowing Riyadh to enrich and reprocess would immediately excite the humors of the UAE and Egypt. Both have U.S. nuclear cooperative agreements that allow them to request their agreements be modified if the United States offers any of their neighbors a more generous nuclear deal. Then there’s Morocco and Turkey: their nuclear agreements with Washington are up for renewal in 2021 and 2023. They too are likely to ask for equal treatment as soon as possible. How this serves anyone’s long-term interest is, at best, unclear.

Henry Sokolski is executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center and the author of Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future. He served as deputy for nonproliferation policy in the office of the U.S. secretary of defense from 1989 to 1993.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Saudi Arabia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Falsified data on analyses of burying radioactive waste  – Kobe Steel again

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180307/p2a/00m/0na/017000c (Mainichi Japan) Sixteen pieces of data relating to the underground disposal of highly radioactive waste generated by nuclear reactors, which scandal-hit Kobe Steel Ltd. and a subsidiary analyzed at the request of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), were falsified, forged or flawed in other ways, the nuclear research organization said.

The government-affiliated JAEA, which commissioned Kobe Steel and its subsidiary Kobelco Research Institute Inc. to analyze data on the impact of burying highly radioactive waste deep underground, has demanded that the steelmaker redo the work.

Kobe Steel expressed regret over the matter. “We’ll do our best to prevent a recurrence,” said a company official.

According to the JAEA, the data in question includes that on the corrosion of metal used for cladding tubes and containers for spent nuclear fuel. Between fiscal 2012 and 2016, the Nuclear Regulation Authority and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) commissioned the JAEA to conduct the analyses, and the agency farmed out the work to the steelmaker and its subsidiary.

JAEA officials said most of the data was not accompanied by records of experiments conducted in the analyses, or had intentionally been altered.

According to METI’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy and other sources, the report detailing the results of the analyses will be partially corrected following the discovery of the data falsification.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

New York Times inadequate coverage of South Australia’s problem about nuclear waste dumping

This New York Times author gives a fair coverage to the Kimba radioactive waste dump issue. But it’s misleading in 3 important ways, as if the author completely buys the nuclear lobby’s propaganda.:

  1. States that “The country has no nuclear power plants.”  But fails to mention the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor [which is the source of the really important radioactive trash for Kimba]
  2. Fails to mention the fact that South Australia has a clear law prohibiting establishment of any nuclear waste facility
  3. Seems unaware of the huge distances (2000 km) involved, which would mean that the vast majority of  medical wastes would no longer be radioactive, in transport from the main points of production and use.

A Farming Town Divided: Do We Want a Nuclear Site that Brings Jobs?, NYT, By MARCH 7, 2018  “……… Now, as the federal government considers whether to build the site on one of these two farms in Kimba, this community of about 650 people finds itself divided and angry. The prospect of jobs and subsidies that the site would bring has split locals between those who want to preserve rural Australia’s way of life and those who say the glory days of farming are over…..

Despite the distances, locals say Kimba always had a strong sense of community, at least until the nuclear site was proposed. Some said the allure of millions of dollars’ worth of grants and subsidies that the government was offering the host community had blinded people to the risks.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, wastes | Leave a comment

Animals around Chernobyl and Fukushima are NOT flourishing, despite the nuclear lobby’s claims

Bird at left normal, at right – Chernobyl bird with facial cancer

Beyond Nuclear International 4th March 2018, It started with wolves. The packs around the Chernobyl nuclear plant, which exploded on April 26, 1986, were thriving, said reports. Benefitting from the absence of human predators, and seemingly unaffected by the high radiation levels that still persist in the area, the wolves, they claimed, were doing better than ever.

Appearances, however, can be deceptive. Abundant does not necessarily mean healthy. And that is exactly what
evolutionary biologist, Dr. Timothy Mousseau and his team began to find out as, over the years, they traveled to and researched in and around the Chernobyl disaster site in the Ukraine.

Then, when a similar nuclear disaster hit in Japan — with the triple explosions and meltdowns at
Fukushima Daiichi on March 11, 2011 — Mousseau’s team added that region to its research itinerary.

Mousseau has now spent more than 17 years looking at the effects on wildlife and the ecosystem of the 1986 Chernobyl
nuclear disaster. He and his colleagues have also spent the last half dozen years studying how non-human biota is faring in the wake of Fukushima. Ninety articles later, they are able to conclude definitively that animals and plants around Chernobyl and Fukushima are very far indeed from flourishing.
https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2018/03/04/not-thriving-but-failing/

March 9, 2018 Posted by | environment, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Who will pay the astronomic cost of storing America’s nuclear trash? NRC reviews New Mexico proposal

Goodbye Yucca? NRC to review New Mexico nuclear waste storage proposal,  https://www.utilitydive.com/news/goodbye-yucca-nrc-to-review-new-mexico-nuclear-waste-storage-proposal/518653/  Robert Walton

Dive Brief:

Dive Insight:

Lawmakers are reportedly not going to fund Yucca Mountain development this year, despite a $120 million request from President Trump who has indicated he wants to revive development. That will maintain the status quo for dealing with spent fuel, a process which involves companies suing the federal government to recover their costs.

Processing and storing the spent fuel was supposed to be done by the government under the terms of a 1983 contract. Instead, generators file breach of contract lawsuits to cover the costs, and so far there have been more than 70 judgments resulting in payments to nuclear operators upwards of $6 billion.

Holtec is proposing an interim storage site, and last month the NRC informed the company that it would review the project. Regulators said the application “is sufficiently complete for the staff to begin its detailed safety, security and environmental reviews.”

Holtec is just the second private company to file such an application, according to Power Magazine. Waste Control Specialists proposed a site in Texas, but subsequently put its application on hold due to escalating

costs.

​NRC staff informed Holtec that the cost to review its application would likely reach $7.5 million. The company would use a the Hi-Storm UMAX canister storage system, which stores loaded canisters underground.  According to Holtec, the Hi-Storm system “is widely considered by industry experts to be the last word on public safety and security.”

The facility would be constructed on 1,000 acres of unused land, about midway between the cities of Carlsbad and Hobbs, N.M. The company says the area has many advantages, not least of which is being located 35 miles from the nearest populations.

The costs to store spent nuclear fuel are astronomical: The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated the government’s total liability will be $29 billion by 2022, assuming that the government starts accepting nuclear waste by then. Some estimates put the cost as high as $50 billion.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

UK police say Sergei Skripa, former Russian spy, was poisoned with nerve agent

Sergei Skripal: former Russian spy poisoned with nerve agent, say police, Former Russian spy’s case being treated as attempted murder, with police officer also ‘seriously ill’    Guardian, Vikram DoddLuke Harding and Ewen MacAskill 8 Mar 2018 

Scotland Yard assistant chief commissioner Mark Rowley said the police officer who was first to the spot where Skripal was found in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon was “seriously ill” in hospital. His condition had deteriorated, Rowley said, adding: “Wiltshire police are providing full support to his family.”

Describing the poisoning as a major incident, Rowley said scientists had identified the substance used. He refused to reveal what the specific poison was.

Suspected Skripal poisoning: who might have ordered it and why?

All three were suffering from “exposure to a nerve agent”. Detectives now believed that Sergei and Yulia Skripal were specifically targeted, he added, in a deliberate act. They remain critically ill in hospital.

Although further details are awaited, the suspicion in Downing Street will be that the Kremlin has attempted another brazen assassination operation on British soil. Moscow will furiously deny involvement, but Theresa May will have to consider how the government might respond should the police and other evidence point to Russia and its multiple spy outfits.

Unlike in the case of Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned with a slow-acting radioactive cup of tea, detectives got to the scene in Salisbury quickly. Hundreds of officers were now working around the clock, Rowley said. They were examining CCTV footage from the city centre and building a detailed timeline of events, he added……….. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/07/russian-spy-police-appeal-for-witnesses-as-cobra-meeting-takes-place

March 9, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Need to monitor beaches near Dounreay, as another toxic radioactive fragment is found

Energy Voice 8th March 2018, A leading independent nuclear expert has called for increased monitoring of
a Caithness beach after an “alarming” radioactive fragment was found.

Dr John Large, who oversaw the salvage of Russian nuclear sub Kursk in 2000
and advises governments around the world, said the situation was
“serious” and could threaten local communities.

The tiny particle of reprocessed fuel from Dounreay was discovered to contain radioactive
americium. Dr Large said the first recorded presence of the so-called
“daughter of plutonium” in nuclear waste washed up on Sandside beach,
near Reay, was probably discharged into the sea decades ago.

He added: “The trouble is that 20 or 30 or so years later it has turned up on a
beach. If it reaches the surface – which is quite possible given natural
disturbance by the tide etc – and gets dried out it can become airborne,
thus threatening local communities. It is alarming. “Of course it is
serious.

There’s not a lot you can do either – because finding these
particles is a random process, you cannot predict where they are.
“Monitoring needs to be stepped up because there is a real risk these
particles could end up in areas of population.”

A spokeswoman for Dounreay said: ”Addressing the legacy of radioactive particles in the
marine environment around Dounreay is an important part of the site’s
decommissioning programme. The particle monitoring regime for external
beaches has been carried out for many years and is reported on our
website.”

The particle was the 275th to be unearthed on the beach since
the discovery of the first in 1984. Found 18 centimetres under the surface
during a routine sweep on January 11, it has a caesium 137 count of 110,000
bequerels of radioactivity.

If ingested, americium-241 can work its way
into the bones, liver and, in males, the testicles, and remain in the body
for some time. Sand-sized fragments of irradiated nuclear fuel were flushed
into the sea from Dounreay in the 1960s and 1970s. Particles of irradiated
nuclear fuel were first detected on the Dounreay site coastal strip in 1983
and on the beach at Sandside in 1984. Work to recover particles from the
seabed was done between the 1990s and 2012.
https://www.energyvoice.com/other-news/165626/beach-needs-nuclear-monitoring/

March 9, 2018 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment